Casino Revenue Debate Continues

By: Shannon Smith Email
By: Shannon Smith Email

ROCKFORD (WIFR) – It’s been an ongoing debate as the gaming bill makes its way through the legislature, how to split the revenue between the city and the county. However, that obstacle may be out of the way after local leaders met behind closed doors.

We may not see a Rockford casino anytime soon, but we are finally seeing what could be a major compromise between local leaders.
State Rep. John Cabello and Rockford Mayor Larry Morrissey met to discuss how future revenue should be able to be split between Rockford and Winnebago County if the casino bill passes.

“It was such a good meeting that I’m going to be retracting a letter. I had 14 House members sign a letter saying that if there was not a 60/40 split that we would all be voting no.

Cabello couldn’t give details about what was discussed but says he’s confident about moving forward.
“I was informed on a lot more of the issues that the Mayor is wanting to make sure that everyone knows about, at least on the negation side,” Cabello said.

That’s a huge roadblock out of the way. Just a few weeks ago, Mayor Morrissey pushed for a 70/30 split where 70% would go to the city. But, Winnebago County Chairman Scott Christensen didn’t agree. Now he’s on board for a 60/40 split.
I’m all for it. I ‘m not privy to the discussion obviously, but if we look at a 50/50 as a starting point on one side and a 70/30 split on the other, boy 60/40 is right in the middle, so maybe that makes sense,” Christiansen said.

Keep in mind that’s if a casino comes to the city. Although the bill passed through the House Committee, the House still has to vote and Governor Quinn will still have to sign it.

We’re told Cabello plans to meet with Mayor Morrissey again. That meeting would include the County Chairman and Village Presidents.

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