Please read a editorial from the Chicago Sun-Times allowing gambling in Chicago. I cannot believe the Sun-Times could even fathom this. The suckers and the poor pour millions into the Illinois Lotto with lousy returns. The Illinois Lotto is a chump bet to clean out the poor. People get wealthy on the lotto by providing “Legal and sub-contracting” services to the Lotto. Does Mayor Daley’s cousin still have access to the 68 million dollars. Wake up Chicago, you are being fleeced alive. Chicago Taxpayers should demand a full scale investigation into Daley now. Daley is refusing to give David Hoffman enough power to combat corruption, so why give Daley and his mafia friends the Gambling? Photo by Patrick McDonough.
]]>City needs gambling — and rules to keep out organized crime
October 21, 2007
We’ve always thought Chicago deserves a casino — why should the city miss out on all that revenue from riverboats that surround us? But if Chicago wins a betting palace, it should get one the right way. And there’s plenty wrong with the bill now pending in Springfield, mainly because it doesn’t do enough to keep out the mob or beef up state regulators.
The Chicago Crime Commission opposes any new gambling in the city. On that point, we disagree. But James W. Wagner, the commission president, wages several good arguments about weaknesses in the gaming proposal, which cleared the Senate last month and is now pending in the House. Wagner, a former FBI agent and former investigator for the Illinois Gaming Board, is most concerned about the bill allowing the city to own a mega-casino, the location of which hasn’t been decided — that we know of. With 4,000 stations, the proposed Chicago gambling arena would be nearly four times that of Elgin. Not only would a Chicago casino be one of the largest in the country, it also would be the first city-owned casino in the United States.
Wagner thinks it’s inevitable that organized crime will be drawn to the casino, making offers that can’t be refused. “Organized crime still exists in Chicago. It was intricately involved in building casinos in Las Vegas,” he said during a meeting with the Sun-Times editorial board. He points to our mobbed up history, the recent “Family Secrets” trial of Chicago organized crime figures, mob influence in the city’s Hired Truck scandal, and the police department’s scaled-down Organized Crime unit as evidence that the mob is still healthy and that the city is ill-equipped to combat it.
“How in the world can you even talk about the city owning something like this?” he asked. “They don’t have a track record to trust them.”
The other problem, argues the crime commission, is that the pending bill would award an irrevocable gambling license to Chicago. The state’s other gaming licenses, awarded to the companies that run the nine riverboats, can be yanked in the event of management problems and corruption. Wagner thinks that’s an essential tool to keep casino operators in line, and regulators should be allowed to wield that against Chicago, too.
And speaking of regulators. The casino bill calls for a massive expansion of gambling in Illinois in order to fund a public works program and other state needs. In addition to the Chicago complex, two smaller casinos would be authorized somewhere in the state. And the existing boats would be allowed to get bigger. The Illinois Gaming Board estimates it would need to expand its staff to police the casino operations. But the legislation is silent on the matter.
Wagner also complains that the gaming board should have the power to regulate non-gambling operations of the city casino. Without it, the board can’t review contracts such as supplies and garbage pickup, which are vulnerable to mob influence.
Gambling is all about risk. But if the Legislature is going to approve a casino in Chicago, it needs to do more to make sure the casino is as safe a bet as possible.
Chicago can’t risk mobbed-up casino