Chicago Mayor gets behind casino plans
By Paul
Chicago Mayor Daley has done an about face and dropped his opposition to casino gambling. On Tuesday Daley called gambling “part and parcel of American life”, suggesting that he has decided to pursue a government-owned Chicago casino because of the revenue potential for city and state.

Two days after the Chicago Sun-Times reported the mayor was seriously reconsidering his opposition to casino gambling, Daley waxed enthusiastically about the benefits such a casino would bring.

“The city would own a license. The taxpayers would get full benefit. ... If you're going to have gambling in Illinois, the government should own those licenses and have a management contract with every one of them. Then you'll get a huge amount of revenue for the state and local government,” Daley said.

“It's almost legal in every state. Now you're saying you're not supposed to take the money? You're supposed to give the money to a private concern and let them take the money? I think that's a great mistake.”

Daley stressed the casino he envisions would be land-based and an entirely new license--not the license held by Emerald Casino that is to be put out to bid early next year with Waukegan, Des Plaines, Summit and Calumet City viewed as front-runners.

Daley said he continues to favor a city-state ownership arrangement along the lines of Ontario, Canada, which has a professional gaming operator run the casino in exchange or “5 or 10 percent” of the profits.

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