Rauner wants strategic assessment of Illinois gambling industry

SPRINGFIELD (AP) — It sounds like Gov. Bruce Rauner might be warming up to the idea of expanded gambling in Illinois.

Rauner says he doesn’t like to gamble, but he also recognizes the state is losing money to casinos in neighboring states.  While Rauner isn’t definitively stating he would sign expanded gaming legislation, he’s not dismissing the idea either.

According to Rauner, the state has been disorganized in its approach to gambling and gaming, and has sort of done it ad hoc and on a case-by-case basis.

He says he’d like to take a strategic assessment of the gaming industry in partnership with the General Assembly.

Rauner’s position is crucial because expanded gambling has had enough support to pass twice through the General Assembly in recent years, only for the bills to be vetoed by Gov. Pat Quinn.

One of the stronger proponents of adding more casinos in Illinois, State Rep. Lou Lang (D-Skokie), says Rauner will need extra gambling revenue to fulfill some of his campaign promises.

Lang says Rauner certainly will want to look to opportunities to create revenue and jobs that don’t require taxation, and gaming would be one of those areas.