Governor Quinn Worried About Conflicts of Interest in Gaming. Really?

Governor Quinn Worried About Conflicts of Interest in Gaming. Really?
Would Gaming Expansion Save Horse Racing In Illinois?

Has the Governor of Illinois had an Epiphany? I mean we do live in a state that could be one of the major poster child's for political corruption right? Well, it seems Governor Quinn is ready to deal on gaming expansion but is dead set against that expansion being overseen by operators who would more than likely allow some unsavory characters into the action and the inevitable conflicts of interest that would follow. Hmm - a curious thing indeed. After all, the shameless nature in which our Legislature have passed laws designed to protect their various enterprises without much regard to ethical or moral consideration hasn't exactly been a secret here. Nor have the actions of the Illinois Legislature been devoid of conflicts of interest.

So what gives Governor Quinn? Are you finally acknowledging that our state is rife with political corruption and that you now find this way of governance as being immoral? Look, the people of Illinois pretty much know that their interests have always taken a back seat to those of the lawmakers and their cronies more intent on enriching themselves. And let's not forget that the state's financial condition and imminent collapse has been a direct result of this sort of mentality. But hey - this has been our runaway train for a long time now. Exactly why politicians never bothered to put up a finger to the wind and figure out which way it was blowing is beyond me - but the rampant corruption has run unchecked for the 50+ years I've been a resident.

And I doubt that it will ever change in the Land of Lincoln.

So far as gaming goes, well the reality is that the conditions the Governor has placed on its expansion, won't in the end, prevent corruption. Even in a watered-down state it is bound to happen, especially if anyone is fool enough to put a casino in Ford Heights. Hell they can't even run their own town, let alone oversee gambling there. And oh yeah - who in the hell would want to go and frequent a casino there anyhow? But that's another story altogether.

The fact is - the watered down gaming legislation that Governor Pat Quinn would now approve has probably derailed much of the narrow support it once had among downstate lawmakers. Let's face it, there is a block of legislators who demand that any gambling expansion include slots for Illinois' fast fading Racing Industry. Of course I don't believe that adding slots at the racetracks will actually improve the climate for horseman, but hey they claim it would. Personally, I think the racing industry is all but dead here.

Heck, I used to be a frequent patron of the track myself but the quality of racing has diminished to the point that we are betting on mostly cheap horses. Not much there for the "Sport of Kings" if you know what I mean. Besides, given the many other options people have to part with their money I seriously doubt that the racing industry can reinvent themselves to cultivate another generation of hard-core patrons. And please, don't get me wrong either, I actually enjoy a day at the races and wish for those good old days to return, but they were different times too.

Sadly, horse racing's time has come and gone - at least in Illinois.

Of course gambling, in general, has seen a decline and much of it has to do with a smoldering economy and an already over-saturated gaming industry. There are just so many patrons and money to go around and that is something over zealous politicians seem to ignore. So I just can't see gaming as being the end all to be all to prop up our state's financial woes. Now I don't profess to know all, or any, of the answers. But I know this much - the climate just isn't right anymore for gaming expansion. While there might be a short term golden balloon when it comes to the licensing fees and an initial revenue spike, expansion in and of itself is unsustainable. And if we were to ambitiously expand gaming now, taxpayers would eventually be left holding the bag.

Perhaps the best thing to do now is to cut our losses and look for other avenues of economic development!

Then again - I wonder if that is even possible in Illinois?

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  • I agree with most of what you said, including the last part about development of the private economy. And I don't mean the corporate extortion of every company going to Quinn for another tax incentive.

    I commented here before about diminishing returns.

    As far as Quinn being a hypocrite, he owes me a new remote control. after it appeared that he was bloviating the same stuff on every TV station last night and this morning, and I had to keep changing the channel. Quinn is also being a hypocrite in signing his "jobs bill" (capital bill) that had video poker, but now saying to amend that to make it "opt-in."

    On the other hand, I'm sure that leaving the Chicago casino unregulated would lead to criminal influence (of the criminal element of the political elite, i.e. the entire political elite, if not the mob itself).

    With Madigan making a stink about the amendatory veto so he could kill the "no free tuition" bill, this probably gets an outright veto if it ever gets to the governor's desk. In that sense, Quinn was right in saying that he was the goalie, except that he left out that one can score through the 5 hole, and Quinn doesn't have enough balls to protect that zone.

    As you indicate, the real calculus is whether all the goodies such as airport, state fair, and racetrack gambling was to get enough goodies to get enough votes to pass something, and thus there are not either (a) enough votes to override a veto, or (b) not enough votes to pass something Quinn will sign. There may be a question how flexible Rahm is, but while I have said that Rahm has 1000 times more political influence than Quinn, that might not work if, as you indicate, he needs downstate votes for his casino.

  • In reply to jack:

    I am glad that I said I don't know all, if any, of the answers. LOL.. Sorry to hear about your remote too. As for your breakdown, I can go along with what you're saying without dissent. I also think your assessment of Rahm having a 1000 times more influence than Quinn is dead on. Quinn in many ways was as much a political pariah as Blagojevich was prior to his coronation as the next scumbag in the mansion. So already has at least 1 strike against him within the political elite.

  • In reply to Michael Ciric:

    I was mentioning the remote figuratively, although I did have another one go out, just 6 months before Quinn spoke.Those things don't last forever, and he put additional wear on mine yesterday.

  • In reply to jack:

    Funny as it sounds - I can just see that too.

  • The condition of gambling have been worst in this part of world. The association of government body have made it even worst. If the casino of the region is left unattended the criminalization is for sure to happen. The best way hence is to have a regulating body which can control the influence of these criminal body. The best must be kept safe as to remove the criminal influence in the field.

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