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updated: 3/5/2013 6:25 AM

Quinn vetoes plan that would have put slots at Arlington Park

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  • Existing suburban casinos like Rivers Casino in Des Plaines fear that new gambling competition could eat into their revenues.

       Existing suburban casinos like Rivers Casino in Des Plaines fear that new gambling competition could eat into their revenues.
    Bill Zars | Staff Photographer

 
 

SPRINGFIELD -- Gov. Pat Quinn today vetoed nearly 2-year-old legislation that would have allowed a casino in Lake County and 1,200 slot machines at Arlington Park.

The move was widely expected, as Quinn had already vetoed a proposal that didn't go as far in expanding gambling.

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But a parliamentary abnormality early this year sent the legislation that lawmakers approved back in 2011 to the governor's desk.

Gambling is likely to come up again this year, as state Sen. Terry Link, a Waukegan Democrat, has said he wants to work to find a compromise with Quinn.

The governor has said publicly he wants lawmakers to deal with the state's rising retirement costs before they tackle new casinos.

Quinn wants stronger ethics safeguards in any new gambling package and has appeared to back off a previous aversion to slots at racetracks like Arlington Park.

In the meantime, hundreds of video gambling machines continue to go online in bars across the state. Their profits are intended to pay for a massive construction plan Quinn brokered in 2009.

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