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updated: 8/27/2012 10:04 PM

Quinn will give his gambling answer Tuesday

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  • Gov. Pat Quinn said he'll act on a big gambling expansion proposal Tuesday.

       Gov. Pat Quinn said he'll act on a big gambling expansion proposal Tuesday.
    Mark Black | Staff Photographer

 
 

Gov. Pat Quinn, facing a Tuesday deadline to act, is offering few clues to suggest what he might do with a plan to add slot machines at Arlington Park and five new casinos, including one in Lake County.

"I'll tell you tomorrow," Quinn said at an event in Carol Stream Monday.

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The governor said he'd thought about the legislation over the weekend, but he continued to express concerns about ethics -- concerns that have fueled speculation that he won't sign the bill into law.

"I read everything I needed to read," he said.

Arlington Heights Mayor Arlene Mulder said she has spoken with Quinn about the legislation and shares his concerns about ethics and oversight. But she continues to back slot machines at the racetrack as a way to boost revenues there.

"No one agrees with that more than I do. I don't want there to be any negative connotations to this," she said. "But the key thing here is saving a tradition that's been with this village for decades and decades."

If he won't sign it, Quinn has two options Tuesday: He could veto the plan outright or he could rewrite it, perhaps adding additional ethics provisions himself.

Either way, lawmakers would have a shot at overriding him when they next meet after the Nov. 6 election. State Rep. Lou Lang, a Skokie Democrat, said Monday he doesn't expect to know until after the election whether enough lawmakers

would support an override.

The gambling plan before Quinn and similar proposals have been hotly debated by lawmakers and others over the last two years -- and to some extent the last two decades.

Here's a look at what the legislation would do:

• Allow Arlington Park and other Cook County horse racing tracks to have up to 1,200 slot machines apiece. Tracks outside of Cook County could each have 900.

• Create new casinos in Lake County's Park City, Chicago, the South suburbs, Rockford and Danville.

• Direct money created by new gambling taxes to various sources, such as a fund for county fairs.

The version Quinn will act on does not allow for slot machines at Chicago airports, as previous versions did, and the legislation doesn't affect the current push to license video gambling machines in Illinois bars.

Quinn made several stops in the suburbs Monday signing other pieces of legislation.

Daily Herald staff writer Melissa Silverberg contributed.

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