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Gov. Quinn open to repeal of Illinois video gambling law

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WASHINGTON--Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn said he was open to repealing a law allowing video gambling, with his comment coming after State Senate President John Cullerton (D-Chicago) moved to restore the ban on the gambling game.

Quinn, speaking to reporters from seven Illinois print news outlets, was asked about Cullerton's move. Quinn noted that he signed a law allowing video gambling as part of a deal with Republicans to fund a capital bill. Quinn said he was never "fond" of allowing video gambling.

"I told the Republican leaders I have no love for video gambling," Quinn said. Quinn said a higher cigarette tax was a "better way" to go than legalized video gaming.

On Wednesday, the Chicago Sun-Times Springfield Bureau reported that Cullerton, "in a surprise move....took steps to gut the controversial 2009 authorization of video gambling machines in bars and restaurants throughout the state.

"The measure, if passed by both chambers of the Legislature and enacted by Gov. Quinn, would represent a 180-degree shift from when video gaming was regarded as a $534 million cash cow to support the governor's $31 billion capital program.

"Since video gambling was authorized statewide, Chicago refused to permit it in the city, and 80 local governments opted out entirely, raising questions about the program's financial viability.

"In late January, more doubts were cast on the future of video gambling when a state appeals court ruled the law that allowed for it and other tax and fee hikes to pay for the construction program was unconstitutional."

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on March 17, 2011 2:16 PM.

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