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Sponsor: Gambling bill coming soon

SPRINGFIELD (AP) – The new sponsor of a plan to expand Illinois’ gambling says legislation proposing five new casinos is in final negotiations.

Democratic Rep. Bob Rita said Thursday that talks are “advancing rapidly.” The bill cleared the Senate and awaits a House vote. Gov. Pat Quinn vetoed two gaming bills but says he’s open to a bill with ethical protections and money for schools.

Rita didn’t say when a vote was expected. Lawmakers adjourn May 31.

The bill proposes casinos in Chicago, Rockford, Danville, Chicago’s south suburbs and Lake County. Rita of Blue Island says a south suburban casino is priority because it’ll be an economic starter for the region.

Rita became sponsor after Democratic Rep. Lou Lang removed his name over a “perceived” conflict of interest.

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The bill is SB1739.

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