Kadner: Rita serious about state-owne...

Kadner: Rita serious about state-owned casino

There are 74 comments on the The Southtown Star story from Mar 31, 2014, titled Kadner: Rita serious about state-owned casino. In it, The Southtown Star reports that:

It has been three weeks since state Rep. Robert Rita, D-Blue Island, proposed legislation creating a state-owned mega casino in Chicago, and Gov. Pat Quinn and Mayor Rahm Emanuel have yet to comment on it.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at The Southtown Star.

Motto

Maywood, IL

#44 May 30, 2014
Plan Ahead.
Lessons Learned

Salem, WI

#45 May 30, 2014
Mike has been a good tutor.
you think

Blue Island, IL

#46 May 31, 2014
Lessons Learned wrote:
Mike has been a good tutor.
In what? Corruption?
One Pension is enough

Blue Island, IL

#47 May 31, 2014
The gambler wrote:
<quoted text>
Looks like Bobby is planning ahead! When he leaves state government, he is looking forward to a
career as a gaming company executive.
Bobby is looking for another pension. And another PERFUNCTORY JOB.
Being Played

Blue Island, IL

#48 May 31, 2014
One Pension is enough wrote:
<quoted text>
Bobby is looking for another pension. And another PERFUNCTORY JOB.
I can't think of another state rep who would promote a expansion gambling bill. since bobby is expert at gaming the system. he thinks life is a game, especially the way he plays the citizens of Blue Island.

.
What A Waste of Time

Blue Island, IL

#50 May 31, 2014
Emanuel said Chicago must raise its property tax rate to fund city pensions.

And there remains more than $4 billion in unpaid bills to the state, even with the higher income tax rates in place for 31/2 years.

The Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability estimates that casino expansion in Illinois could generate $500 million to $700 million in new annual revenue, according to testimony before Rita’s House committee.

A developer for a potential casino in Country Club Hills said he’s prepared to invest $200 million in a casino complex in that suburb. A Chicago casino likely would attract an investment of $1 billion.

Yet, there’s no interest now in building more casinos in Illinois.

The people running the 10 existing casinos, some of whom also are running casinos across the border in Indiana, have made it clear they don’t want more competition.

As for the governor, last spring his staff called me saying he wanted the expansion bill called and implying that Madigan was working behind the scenes to stop it. This year, despite numerous requests for comment, Quinn’s office had nothing to say.

I figured the Republican candidate for governor, Bruce Rauner, might be interested in all this because he has been talking about the need for job creation, and casinos would create thousands of jobs.

Rauner’s spokesman sent me an email with the following statement:“Bruce believes this is primarily a local issue that is about local control and what the community wants — and that’s who should be driving the decisions.”

Rita told me that he plans to call a revised casino bill for a House vote in the fall session of the Legislature. He may even hold another public hearing.

As for the Senate, which twice passed casino bills, it did nothing this spring.

Maybe Illinois’ government doesn’t need any more cash. Maybe jobs aren’t as important as people say.

No one’s talking. And the casino bill is dead
Another scam

Chicago, IL

#51 May 31, 2014
What A Waste of Time wrote:
Emanuel said Chicago must raise its property tax rate to fund city pensions.
And there remains more than $4 billion in unpaid bills to the state, even with the higher income tax rates in place for 31/2 years.
The Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability estimates that casino expansion in Illinois could generate $500 million to $700 million in new annual revenue, according to testimony before Rita’s House committee.
A developer for a potential casino in Country Club Hills said he’s prepared to invest $200 million in a casino complex in that suburb. A Chicago casino likely would attract an investment of $1 billion.
Yet, there’s no interest now in building more casinos in Illinois.
The people running the 10 existing casinos, some of whom also are running casinos across the border in Indiana, have made it clear they don’t want more competition.
As for the governor, last spring his staff called me saying he wanted the expansion bill called and implying that Madigan was working behind the scenes to stop it. This year, despite numerous requests for comment, Quinn’s office had nothing to say.
I figured the Republican candidate for governor, Bruce Rauner, might be interested in all this because he has been talking about the need for job creation, and casinos would create thousands of jobs.
Rauner’s spokesman sent me an email with the following statement:“Bruce believes this is primarily a local issue that is about local control and what the community wants — and that’s who should be driving the decisions.”
Rita told me that he plans to call a revised casino bill for a House vote in the fall session of the Legislature. He may even hold another public hearing.
As for the Senate, which twice passed casino bills, it did nothing this spring.
Maybe Illinois’ government doesn’t need any more cash. Maybe jobs aren’t as important as people say.
No one’s talking. And the casino bill is dead
. Excellent points ... Plus with all them gaming now going on in restaurants, bars, beauty salons, and store fronts who needs a mega casino! Why is no one in Springfield looking to create REAL jobs ? And we are paying Rita how much ?????!
Pocket Pickers

Maywood, IL

#53 Jun 1, 2014
Existing casino and mall parking are not full. Why?

If these casinos are ever actually built; only the pocket pickers will exchange money among themselves. Plenty has changed hands already.
Make it Easy

Maywood, IL

#55 Jun 18, 2014
Dolton's Big Gamble

Most days the Dorchester Senior Center is a relatively quiet place, the lobby filled with the soothing sound of an indoor water fountain.

But that tranquility could soon be replaced by a different noise: Cha-ching!

Dolton's municipal government – which owns the five-story low-income retirement/assisted-living home in the south suburb – recently awarded a contract to a catering company that hopes to open a mini-casino inside the complex.

Plans call for a lounge with alcohol, food and five video gaming machines that cost money to play, pay out winnings, and are accessible to Dorchester residents and walk-ins, officials said.

While many building occupants like to gamble – Dorchester managers organize outings to nearby Indiana casinos – Dolton's support of on-site gaming in a building occupied by so many poor people should be a cause for worry, according to gambling critics.

Of the 40 or so residents, roughly half are on public aid – with take-home monthly incomes as low as $90 each, officials said.

"You're preying on the weakest of the weak," said Jerry Prosapio, co-founder of Gambling Exposed, an anti-gambling ministry in Crestwood.

Other concerns involve the presence of a daycare center in the building – and the Illinois Gaming Board's vetting process for issuing video gaming licenses.

Dolton Trustee Robert Hunt said the village board backed the gaming plan with an eye toward hiking revenue at the Dorchester.

In recent years, annual losses to the village have ranged from $400,000 to $800,000, said Dolton Village Administrator Stan Urban.

The Dorchester has 126 beds but only 44 are filled, according to the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services.

Dolton would receive a cut of tax revenue from any gaming machine at the Dorchester, just as it does from other terminals in town, but those proceeds alone are unlikely to offset the building's losses.

"We're trying to bring it back," said Dolton Trustee Sabrina Smith said.

Gambling Gaffe?

The backdrop for the Dolton dust-up is a 2009 change in state law that made it legal to offer video gaming in bars, restaurants, truck stops and other spots where liquor is served in Illinois. The first machines went live in October 2012 – and there are now more than 15,000 statewide.

Overseeing the rapid expansion is the Illinois Gaming Board, a state regulatory agency that, we found, made questionable decisions in the Dolton case. Among them:

When the Gaming Board awarded a license to Giovanni's Catering Inc., in April, it was believed to be the first time video gaming was allowed at a "supportive living facility," which receives government subsidies for housing low-income residents.
On a video gaming license application, Giovanni's identified itself as the manager of the Dorchester when a separate company actually served that role. The Gaming Board apparently did not realize this discrepancy.
Dolton leases space at the Dorchester to a daycare facility for children. State law says video gaming can't be located within 100 feet of a school.
Gaming Board officials point out the state law doesn't consider a daycare a school.

But, even so, the Gaming Board's top official indicated he wasn't happy with the proximity of one to the other.

"I'm not sure we knew about the daycare," Gaming Board Chairman Aaron Jaffe told Public Eye. "But you can be rest assured the board will take a closer look at this."

Jaffe noted that Giovanni's still needs to pass a final inspection before the video machines (which could offer slots, poker, etc.) go live. That may not happen, he said, if concerns about the daycare and other issues we raised aren't addressed.

Meanwhile, we also uncovered curiosities with how Dolton's municipal leaders handled the process on their end.
Continued

Maywood, IL

#56 Jun 18, 2014
Jaffe noted that Giovanni's still needs to pass a final inspection before the video machines (which could offer slots, poker, etc.) go live. That may not happen, he said, if concerns about the daycare and other issues we raised aren't addressed.

Meanwhile, we also uncovered curiosities with how Dolton's municipal leaders handled the process on their end.

The village board rejected an offer earlier this year to sell the Dorchester for at least $3 million, even though the development is a major financial burden, having lost more than $500,000 last year, officials said.

And the video gaming contract awarded to Giovanni's wasn't competitively bid, raising questions about potential benefits to taxpayers.

State records identify Giovanni's owner as Loren Robinson, who said Dorchester residents he's spoken with are excited about his plan.

"People are going to gamble anyway," he said. "It might as well be close to home."
Seriously Underestimated

Maywood, IL

#57 Jun 27, 2014
Illinois casinos complain video gambling hurting bottom line

Illinois casino officials say they severely underestimated the impact video gambling would have on their bottom line and are asking state regulators to intervene as they continue to lose business to machines at neighborhood bars and truck stops.

Tom Swoik, executive director of the Illinois Casino Gaming Association, contends the devices have become so prolific that casinos are struggling to compete. Regulators acknowledged some concerns with the state’s 2009 video gambling law, but chided the casino industry for not trying to block it in the first place.

In 2013, the state’s 10 casinos reported $1.55 billion in revenue, a 5.3 percent drop from the $1.64 billion that came in the year before, according to the Illinois Gaming Board. Video gambling machines started to go online in fall 2012. In 2013, more than $300 million was collected at 13,374 video gaming terminals across the state.

“The Illinois gaming world has changed dramatically over the past year and a half. Every month, we’re seeing about 850 new slot machines come into existence,” Swoik said.“That’s nearly a new casino every month.”

The latest drop in casino revenue continues what’s mostly been a trend in Illinois and nationwide during the struggling economy.

Swoik argues that the video gambling law was drafted so broadly that it has allowed businesses that were not intended to have slot machines to install the devices. While proponents said the legislation would limit video machines to bars, restaurants, truck stops and fraternal organizations, Swoik pointed to instances where a flower shop in Oak Lawn and a scuba shop near Rockford have secured licenses to pour liquor, which allowed them to apply for up to five gambling machines.

Swoik said those who operate video machines also have an unfair advantage because they don’t have to abide by the same rules as casinos when it comes to problem gamblers. For example, there’s no way for places with video poker machines to screen for gamblers who have put themselves on a self-exclusion list designed to prevent them from gambling.

Video gambling operators also are allowed to send out mass mailings about discounted or free gambling without regard to whether it ends up in the mailbox of a problem gambler, whereas casinos are responsible for removing those on the self-exclusion list from all mailing lists and marketing databases.

Swoik asked gambling regulators to help draft rules to address those issues, saying an effort to tighten the video gambling law fizzled during the final days of the spring legislative session. He also reiterated his group’s opposition to legislation that would add a casino in Chicago and four other locations and allow slots at race tracks, saying the market is saturated.

Gaming Board Chairman Aaron Jaffe acknowledged issues surrounding problem gamblers must be addressed, but scolded Swoik for not stepping in when lawmakers legalized video gambling five years ago.

“I have to say that your organization did not take the lead in stopping anything in video gaming, as a matter of fact your position was ‘Well, it won’t hurt us,” Jaffe said.“That was contrary to the belief of a lot of people. Now you come to us and say,‘We’re hurting.’ Well, we knew that in advance. And you knew that in advance, but you refused to acknowledge that.”

Swoik agreed that mistakes were made.

“There is no doubt the casino industry simply underestimated the impact these machines would have on our industry,” Swoik said.
Seriously

Maywood, IL

#58 Jun 29, 2014
Anyone in the sales industry knows casinos and malls are dying. The public is not going to travel to shop or gamble when they do not have to; why would they when you can shop on line and walk into the nearest restaurant to gamble. It is the New Golden Age. Half of the malls and casinos will close in the next 10 years (by 2024).
Emanuel

Blue Island, IL

#59 Jun 29, 2014
Rep Bobby Rita permits Robbins Library to close. There is no money in it for him to keep it open. The real money is Gambling. And that is where he spends his time.

Lack of money to force Robbins library to close

By Nick Swedberg Correspondent June 28, 2014

Priscilla Coatney is hoping for a Monday morning miracle.

Coatney handed out layoff notices Thursday to her staff at the William Leonard Public Library. Unless $25,000 suddenly appears in the library accounts, her 10 employees will be out of jobs and the library will be shut down.

The Robbins library is out of money and will be closed until the district can collect property tax dollars in the fall, Coatney said. About 40 percent of the property owners in the library district have stopped paying their tax bills for one reason or another, leading to huge revenue shortfalls.

“We’re in tough times, in a distressed community. And we’re the face of that,” said Coatney, the library director.

No patrons and only a few staff members were in the library, 13820 Central Park Ave, on Saturday afternoon. Summer programs for children likely will be halted because of the staffing cut. The library serves between 6,000 and 10,000 patrons, Coatney said.

Until staff can be hired back, the library might have to rely on those donating their time.

Educators and retirees are contacting the library to volunteer, Coatney said.

She’s also exploring whether her staff legally can work for free at the library after the layoffs.

Grant sources that the library applied for in the past have dried up, she said. Her plan is to contact state politicians to see if emergency funds are available.

Coatney said the library is at its “bare bones.”

“I don’t have anything else to cut,” she said.“I have cut all that I can cut.”

The library needs between $25,000 and $30,000 a month to maintain a staff and keep the place running.

“Once we hit that mark, then I can start to call people back,” she said.

Property tax bills are expected to be sent out in August, Coatney said. By September, taxes will be collected and money will start flowing.

The library has “nothing else that we can do until our tax money can start coming in,” she said.

Donations to help with day-to-day operations, such as cleaning supplies, soap and copier paper, are more sought after than books, Coatney said.

While she expects to avoid a permanent shutdown, the library likely will be open only eight months this year.

Coatney said the library will have no certainty even after taxes are collected in September.

“We’ll eventually open, but how long will we stay open?” she said.
Times Up

Maywood, IL

#60 Jun 29, 2014
Seriously wrote:
Anyone in the sales industry knows casinos and malls are dying. The public is not going to travel to shop or gamble when they do not have to; why would they when you can shop on line and walk into the nearest restaurant to gamble. It is the New Golden Age. Half of the malls and casinos will close in the next 10 years (by 2024).
Like the real estate market 8 years ago, now malls and casinos are going by the way wayside.
Bob is the real problem

Blue Island, IL

#61 Aug 16, 2014
Bob Rita needs to concentrate on the problems of his 28th district. The crime, unemployment, oh yes Bob,{ the flooding in the 13th precinct.Calumet township, Seventh ward} These problems don't interest Bob, not to glamorous, not enough money in it for him. Wasn't the 28th designed to be an African American district? So how did Bob get that position?
Whats in it for me

Blue Island, IL

#62 Aug 17, 2014
Seriously wrote:
How many millions have already changed hands?
This is the real question.
Blame Springfield

Blue Island, IL

#63 Oct 7, 2014
Just Announced

Maywood, IL

#64 Oct 16, 2014
Gambing is a Rip-off and a Disaster!

Who [email protected]&$#<%!
All Their Secrets

Maywood, IL

#65 Oct 17, 2014
Just Announced wrote:
Gambling is a Rip-off and a Disaster!
Who [email protected]&$#<%!
So are Quinn and Company!
Survey

Maywood, IL

#66 Oct 18, 2014
Times Up wrote:
<quoted text>
Like the real estate market 8 years ago, now malls and casinos are going by the way wayside.
Numerous malls are as much a sign of the times as vacant casino parking lots, along with vacant businesses, and homes.

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