A number of Chicago religious leaders are urging the city’s mayor and Illinois legislators to slow their push to place a casino in the city.
The pastors said Tuesday they don’t necessarily oppose a casino on principle, but they do want to make sure black and brown communities in Chicago benefit from what emerges from Springfield.
Expanding casino gambling in Illinois got a boost this week when a Democratic lawmaker suggested making it part of a popular plan to legalize sports betting. Rep. Robert Rita of Blue Island says his plan would look similar to past ideas by adding a land-based casino in Chicago and as many as five riverboat casinos around the state.
A U.S. Supreme Court ruling last year opened the door for Illinois and other states to legalize sports wagering by ending a Nevada monopoly.
The Rev. Leon Finney of Metropolitan Apostolic Community Church says he doesn’t want a casino bill to pass without a community benefits analysis. Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot says she’s favors a casino in the city.