Gambling Veto Draws Praise And Criticism

Aug 29, 2012

The city of Rockford was one of five locations that would have been awarded a casino under the bill vetoed by Governor Pat Quinn. Area leaders say they're disappointed in the lost opportunity for economic growth. But they also expressed hope about reviving the gambling effort during the fall veto session.

Meanwhile, Republican State Senator Dave Syverson says while Illinois continues to stall on the issue, its neighbors are moving forward.

"They are building large casinos within feet of the Illinois border" Syverson said.

Syverson is especially concerned about the Beloit casino project. He says if that gets approved first, it would kill any chances of Rockford getting a casino.  

NIU economist Khan Mohabbat says it appears Governor Quinn made the right decision to veto the bill. He says while there would be a lot of upfront revenue from licensing fees, he questions whether it would be a good deal in the long run.

"Casinos in my view [are] a form of enterprise in which you do not create resources" Mohabbat said.  

Mohabbat says more gambling options restrict people from spending their disposable income at other businesses.