IGB Chairman’s Ethical Concerns Over Casino Gambling Expansion Bill Taken Up by Illinois Senators
In an attempt to address Governor Quinn’s issue about the casino gambling expansion bill as one that lacks ethical protection, the senate committee invited Illinois Gaming Board (IGB) Chairman Aaron Jaffe to attend last Wednesday’s hearing. Senate President John Cullerton considers addressing Chairman Jaffe’s widely publicized criticisms against the bill, as the first important step to take before moving on with the expansion proposals, which Governor Quinn rejected last week.
The IGB Chief has been against the bill since its introduction in 2011, publicly expressing his misgivings that such gambling expansions, which he considers as “too big and too technical”, could have underwent proper evaluation. The 400-page bill fast-tracked its way to the General Assembly during the last days of legislative sessions and was able to garner enough approval votes in a matter of two days. In last Wednesday’s hearing, the IGB Chairman likened the bill to an overly padded Christmas tree with something for everyone. Currently the bill now contains more than 550 pages of provisions, which Chairman Jaffe considers as even more impossible to read.
Although the IGB Chairman brought a notebook-full of issues to thresh out with the senate committee, he was able to raise only a few during the two-hour hearing. Most of which delved mainly about the gaming board’s undermanned staff and the board’s inability to hire more in view of the lengthy hiring process observed by the state. This was in response to one senator’s query on why IGB cannot act quickly in order to meet the deadlines set under the resolutions, as well as properly carryout regulations for an enormous gaming expansion.
Nonetheless, Chairman Jaffe expressed his willingness to help legislators formulate regulations that can keep out corruption and perhaps whittle down the size of the 550-page bill to around 25 to 30 pages.