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Chicago casino expansion goes off the books, for now

 Gov. Rod Blagojevich announced today he is giving up the planned massive casino expansion in Chicago, after a meeting with top legislative leaders. Blagojevich plan to add as many as four new casinos to the Chicago's landscape would have brought billions in tax revenues to plug up the highway and school budgets, according to some experts, but following a meeting today with top legislature leaders, the Governor has announced he will call off the gambling expansion. Instead, the new plan is to rent out the Illinois State Lottery and use the profits to fund the multi-billion dollar construction spending plan.

 According to Blagojevich, the revenue from leasing the state lottery, combined with surplus gas tax receipts would be enough to fund the highway construction and the schools' budged. Many, however, remain skeptical that leasing of the state lottery has the legs in the local legislature. A similar measure was already rejected by House members in the spring and some say it would be an impossible sell to the voters.

 Published on 07/31/2008

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