2 New Gaming Expansion Proposals in Springfield

WINNEBAGO COUNTY (WIFR) -- One state lawmaker is renewing the effort to expand gaming in Illinois with two new proposals that have scaled back previous plans to add more casinos in the state.

State Representative Bob Rita, D-Blue Island, has developed two plans for gaming expansion in response to Governor Pat Quinn’s veto of the last gaming bill. The first would create a large casino just in Chicago with revenues from that facility going to communities across Illinois. The other proposal would set up four smaller casinos, including one within Winnebago County. This plan would split revenue between the city of Rockford and Winnebago County.

“We need to develop a shared vision of where we want to go. If we have a shared vision, if we have a shared tragedy for achieving that then I think working out the details of a revenue split become much easier. In the meantime I am the mayor of Rockford and I have to advocate for putting resources where we need them," says Rockford Mayor Larry Morrissey.

Winnebago County Board Chairman Scott Christiansen says he is aware of the proposal and says the most important thing is that local leaders have a voice in setting the terms of any revenue sharing.

A public hearing on both of these proposals will be held in Chicago on April 16 to allow communities to give their two cents on the ideas.

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