Hickey Urges Gov. Quinn to Block Chicago Casino Expansion

Aug 28, 2011, 13:00 ET from Jim Hickey

ORLAND PARK, Ill., Aug. 28, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- 11th District  -- Jim Hickey Sunday called on Gov. Patrick Quinn to block plans by Chicago to build a casino and to suspend casino expansion in the state.

Hickey, a candidate to represent the 11th Congressional District in next year's election, said that the expansion plans would dramatically impact the existing casinos in his district and the in other suburban communities that rely on funding to support their community services.

The 11th District includes communities that directly benefit from three casinos, Harrahs and Empress Casinos in Joliet and the Hollywood in Aurora.

"It's about time someone in the suburbs stood up to Chicago and told them to deal with their economic problems by cutting their own waste, not by taking revenues and funds that are helping communities outside the city," Hickey said.

"I'm urging Gov. Quinn to act in the best interests of the state, not the city of Chicago, and block casino expansion legislation."

Hickey urged residents to voice their concerns to the Governor.

"This isn't just about municipalities like the debt-ridden Chicago hoping to erase their debt by building more casinos. It's also about protecting what the state already receives from casino licenses," Hickey said.

"Our existing casinos already provide hundreds of millions of dollars to the state and to local communities through in revenue sharing. I fear for the residents and communities that benefit from the Joliet Casinos and the Aurora casinos. What about them?"

Illinois Gaming Commission data shows Harrah's Casino in Joliet generates more than $100 million in tax revenues for the state and about $20 million for local communities; Empress Casino in Joliet generates more than $50 million for the state and about $11 million for local communities; Hollywood Casino in Aurora generate nearly $70 million for the state and $15 million for local communities. A large portion of revenue sharing off-sets property taxes.

"Our communities won't be the only ones hurt by casino expansion. The state will lose, too and see existing revenues shift. Illinois is more than just Chicago," Hickey said.

Hickey urged Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel to make the hard choices and eliminate waste and corruption to balance the city's "bloated and excessively large budget."

"The practice of grabbing from the suburbs to help Chicago has must come to an end," Hickey said.

For more information, visit www.JimHickeyforAmerica.com.

SOURCE Jim Hickey