Gambling Bill Fears Largely Addressed, Analysis Shows

August 9, 2011  |  

(Chicago Tribune) — Former Chicago Police Supt. Jody Weis joined the chorus of opposition to the state’s gambling expansion bill last week, warning that if it is implemented, “political corruption and crime syndicate infiltration will follow.”  Yet the concerns of Weis and other critics are largely addressed in the actual text of the legislation, a Chicago News Cooperative analysis of claims about the 400-page bill found.  Weis, who is now deputy director of the Chicago Crime Commission, called the bill “critically flawed due to lack of regulatory safeguards” and said it was “beyond my comprehension how the Illinois legislature passed this bill.” Chicago Crime Commission Executive Vice President Art Bilek said the bill is a “quagmire of gambling sinkholes and hidden reductions of regulatory control.” Members of the mob would be “standing in line” to apply for licenses, he warned.  Weis, Bilek and Illinois Gaming Board Chairman Aaron Jaffe, the state’s top gambling regulator, have all said the legislation — which clears the way for a Chicago casino and four others statewide and adds slot machines at racetracks — will allow political corruption and organized crime to infiltrate Illinois casinos.

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