During the 1990s, many states saw riverboat gambling as a way to create new revenue streams to support public schools and other programs. Few large American cities have been able to place land-based casinos in their cities proper, but under the direction of Mayor Richard M. Daley, Chicago seems poised to do just that. Understandably, numerous groups and city officials, including several aldermen, have already voiced their reservations about the plan. Mayor Daley responded this past Wednesday by stating that, "Those who don't want it, don't have to take the money. Morally, if they object to it, they can stand up and say, 'We don't want this money. I don't want the school. I don't want the park.' And they won't get it, then." With the state of Illinois facing a $5 billion dollar budget shortfall, Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich noted that Chicago might be a "very compelling place" for a casino. Others remain skeptical, including Anita Bedell, the executive director of Illinois Church Action on Alcohol and Addiction Problems, who commented that, "The casino owners, the racetrack owners -- these are the ones who will be the winner, and the losers will be the taxpayers of Illinois."
The first link leads to a recent news article from the Chicago Sun-Times dealing with the efforts of Mayor Daley to corral support for a government-owned, land-based casino in Chicago. The second link will take visitors to a Chicago Tribune article that talks about the recent approval of a plan to expand gambling around the state by the Illinois House of Representatives gambling committee. The third link leads to a staff editorial from the Sun-Times on the question of whether or not a casino should be located in Chicago. The fourth link leads to the homepage of the Illinois State Gaming Board, which contains information about legalized gambling in the state and its recent history. The fifth link is a weekly research bulletin on pathological gambling published by the Division on Addictions at Harvard Medical School. The sixth link is to the National Center for Responsible Gaming, which performs various studies on pathological gambling, and contains information about their upcoming events, programs, and workshops. The final link is to a 2000 policy brief written by Professor Earl Grinols of the University of Illinois that contends that casino gambling causes significant increases in crimes. [KMG]