A Park City casino would be a boondoggle for Lake County?

June 22, 2011

Readers of the Lake Forester have a chance to take a second look at possible outcomes should Governor Quinn sign the gambling expansion bill which he considers too big.  The plan narrowly approved by both the House and the Senate in the waning days of the General Assembly in June, includes a Chicago casino and four others in Danville, Rockford, Park City in Lake County, and southern Cook County. Additionally slots would be allowed at Midway and O’Hare airports and the state’s six licensed horse tracks.

Should Governor Quinn sign the legislation, what might the consequences be of having one of the casinos located close by to Lake Forest and Lake Bluff in Park City?

Mayor Pannel of Park city is ecstatic over the prospect of a having a casino located in his town. According to Mayor Pannel, “You’re talking about over 1,000 full-time, good-paying jobs for Park City.”

While many “Lake Forester” readers might welcome a casino in their own back yard and with a shrug of their shoulders exclaim, “What’s the harm?” the Greater Waukegan Ministerial Association is to be applauded for asking 160 churches across Lake County to urge Gov. Pat Quinn to veto the gambling expansion bill.

Evidently church leaders are privy to undesirable societal happenings that result when drugs, alcohol, and gambling reap havoc on the lives of their parishioners and those in their community.

With this in mind, I have done my own research and can report the following:

1. Legalized gambling tends to depress businesses because it diverts money that could have been spent in the capital economy into gambling. Boarded-up business are commonly found surrounding a gambling casino.2. Gambling preys on people who are poor with its promise of a life free from financial worries and burdens. It has been reported that 60 percent of casino revenue comes from gamblers making less than $24,000 a year.

3. Known in some quarters as “video crack,” those caught up in the gambling frenzy are prone to addiction which breeds an increase of family and child neglect, divorce, bankruptcy and even suicides. Gambling addition is widespread and is not limited to the poor and the disadvantaged.

4. Any increase of jobs or influx of money would not offset the disproportionate social and negative effects among the poor and disadvantaged who can least afford to lose money.

5. Should government be seducing its citizens to gamble in state-sponsored vice, instead of being a positive moral force in societyA casino in Park City would not be a God-send for Lake County. Its social and economic costs would be enormous in an area of northern Lake County already economically challenged.

Call Senator Susan Garrett of Lake Forest at (847) 433-2002 to thank her for voting “no” against the gambling expansion bill.

 Representative Karen May voted in lock-step with her Democrat leadership in a “yes” vote. Let Karen May know how you feel. She can be reached at 847-443-9100.







Copyright © 2011 —


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