Mayor Rahm Emanuel has made it clear he wants to reform the city’s finances before pursuing casino revenues. He really has no choice. Revenues from a casino wouldn’t begin to flow, city officials say, and even after seven years of operation likely wouldn’t produce more than $120 million annually.
If that seems like a lot of money, consider this: Chicago’s pension liability alone comes to $18.8 billion.
At its very best, that is to say, a Chicago casino would never be more than a somewhat modest part of the solution to the city’s problems.
The question now is where Quinn and House Speaker Michael Madigan stand. Members of the Emanuel administration did not testify on Wednesday, but if the mayor wants this to be the spring that casino legislation becomes law, he needs to go to Springfield and make his case.
There is a real chance for a serious bill to emerge this legislative session.
— Chicago Sun-Times,April 21