Mayor Rahm Emanuel wants to open a casino in Chicago, Illinois. Governor Bruce Rauner is not opposed to the idea according to a post on May 4, 2015. However, there are new and old obstacles that could prevent a casino from being built. Allowing a casino is politically difficult due to competition with other facilities that already have gaming or want to add it. Horse track owners are asking for slot machines. There are also geographical concerns. New opposition is also political since the governor has to be worried about Capital political dynamics.
Rauner is a Republican that needs to look at state budget problems, but also win approval for “pro-business anti-union agendas.” Democrats are worried about spending cuts being major. This means instead of a casino discussion other agendas and wish lists might find their way to the top of the prioroty list.
Monday, May 4, 2015 did start the discussions with two public hearings, which occurred after private talks between state leaders and Emanuel. In the last 10 days Emanuel has conducted three meetings in his City Hall office to again pitch the Chicago based casino. The mayor was in a meeting with House Speaker Michael Madigan and John Cullerton (Senate President).
Emanuel would like a city-owned casino where the revenue generated would help increase the budget. It would also bring more jobs to the city. The current state casinos are privately owned, which means local taxes are made but not the rest of the revenue. With a city-owned project Chicago could find a better budget, which appeals to those who are pro-casino. For now the negotiations will remain messy.