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Gambling plans to be heard at Wednesday hearing

Published: Wednesday, April 16, 2014 8:37 a.m. CDT

CHICAGO – Expanding Illinois gambling only in Chicago will be a central issue during hearings on the legislation.

State Rep. Bob Rita is the sponsor of the latest attempt to increase the number of Illinois casinos.

The Blue Island Democrat is asking lawmakers to decide between one plan to add five casinos around the state and slots at racetracks and a second plan to allow only a Chicago casino.

Rita says the Chicago-only option will benefit the entire state through a sharing of proceeds.

But some central and southern Illinois officials plan to voice their opposition at the Wednesday hearing. Representatives of Illinois' horse racing tracks say they're against both plans as neither would boost the lagging industry significantly.

The bill is SB1739.

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