03/05/2013 4:49PM

Illinois governor vetoes expanded gaming bill

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Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn on Tuesday vetoed an expanded gaming bill that would have brought slot machines to racetracks, but the governor’s action was universally expected and may have little bearing on the current state of gaming expansion in the Illinois legislature.

The bill Quinn vetoed, Senate Bill 744, passed both houses of the legislature during the spring session in 2011. Sen. John Cullerton, the Senate leader, put a parliamentary hold on the bill after its passage, however, and the bill didn’t come before Quinn until late this past January, when, in an unexpected maneuver, Cullerton released the hold on the final day of the legislature’s lame-duck session.

Quinn actively expressed antipathy toward SB 744 at the time of its passage, and fear of a veto might’ve had something to do with Cullerton’s hold. Quinn had 60 days to act after the January maneuver, and had he not issued a veto, the bill would have become law.

In the last six months, Quinn has appeared to soften his stance on gaming expansion, and at the start of 2013, conditions were thought to have ripened for the passage of a gaming bill. But so far during the ongoing legislative session, no new bill has emerged from either house, with rumblings on the gaming-expansion front going surprisingly quiet.