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A Casino for Chicago?

By Kevin Robinson in News on Oct 23, 2009 3:20PM

Photo by smussyolay.
With the sobering news of Mayor Daley's budget apocalypse beginning to sink in, some in the city council are looking at a Chicago-based casino anew. "All one has to do is drive through those parking lots in Northwest Indiana and see all the Illinois plates,'' Alderman Edward Burke told the Sun-Times. "If those folks are gonna lose their money, they might as well lose it in Chicago." Alderman Leslie Hairston put it more succinctly: "We've got to do something to generate some revenue."

The notion of a casino in the city has been bandied about for years without ever gaining approval from state lawmakers. And Jerry Roper, the union-busting president of the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce would love to see a casino at Block 37. "It's centrally located. It can take advantage of the hotels, the restaurants and the theaters we presently have," he told the Sun-Times.

Mayor Daley was circumspect about the notion. "You can't just pluck it anyplace," he said, referring to proposals to site the casino at Michael Reese or Block 37. "A lot of these places, if you look at them, the people just go there and leave...A lot of it, there's no economic increase for anybody around that place. It's like isolation." In fact, Daley says his support is contingent on those and other factors. It "all depends how it's positioned, and can it be government-owned?...And some are against that. They don't want government to own it."