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Illinois Governor Feels Online Gambling Needs to Take Back Burner to Pension Reform

Illinois lawmakers are working on a new bill to legalize online gambling. They have been trying to convince Governor Pat Quinn that the new bill would carry a number of benefits for the state’s economy and offer protections to Illinois citizens. Quinn has been skeptical about legalizing online gambling, but said he isn’t outright opposed to doing so. However, he has stated that legalizing online gambling is not a top priority this year.

Over the past several months Quinn has said that pension reform is more important than online gambling. However, he was more candid about his position late last week. Quinn said that he would not consider passing an online gambling bill until pension reform was addressed.

Senate President John Cullerton has recently backed a new pension reform bill that would save the state $50 billion. Many lawmakers feel his bill is a good start, but the state would still fall short by about $100 billion of the amount they need to meet their obligations. Quinn has raised concerns with the bill, but hasn’t stated whether he will formally veto it.

This new announcement is discouraging for online gaming advocates in Illinois. They may need to wait for Cullerton to make revisions to his proposal or another lawmakers to draft another solution. However, they are encouraged that lawmakers are finally discussing what steps they must take to legalize online gambling.

Cullerton is started on a separate online gambling bill at the beginning of the month. He probably won’t be able to introduce this bill until pension reform has been adequately addressed. However, he is expected to continue working on it while discussing pension reform strategies with Quinn and other lawmakers.

This blog entry was posted on Wednesday, June 12th, 2013 at 12:08 am and is filed under Casino News.

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