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Senators to hear concerns on gambling, corruption

Published: Wednesday, April 10, 2013 3:00 p.m. CDT

SPRINGFIELD (AP) — A key Senate committee is meeting to discuss concerns that expanding gambling would open the door to political corruption and organized crime.

Senate President John Cullerton invited representatives of the Illinois Gaming Board and the Chicago Crime Commission to appear before the Senate Executive Committee on Wednesday.

Rikeesha Phelon is a spokeswoman for Cullerton. She says the Chicago Democrat wants to try to find a way to address the issue. But she says Cullerton has his doubts about whether the concerns are legitimate or "hyperbole" intended to derail the measure.

Gov. Pat Quinn vetoed a bill last year because he said it didn't have enough ethical protections. He says gambling legislation shouldn't include "loopholes for mobsters."

The bill would add five casinos and slot machines at Chicago's two major airports.

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