Lawmakers Say Gambling Gaining Momentum as Budget Solution

Chicago Mayor Richard Daley yesterday proposed building a large city-owned casino, and state Senate Democrats plan to push this week to add as many as three more riverboats in and around the city as well as putting slot machines at horse race tracks and lowering taxes on casinos.

Legislators say the ideas are attractive because the state's fiscal condition is sluggish and some of Gov. Blagojevich's proposed fee increases to solve the budget deficit are unpopular.

They say although the measures are politically dangerous in an election year, there are few other options to make the budget work.