Illinois Governor Wants Review of Gaming Board

Gov. Rod Blagojevich said Monday he wants an outsider to review the Illinois Gaming Board's decision to put a casino in Rosemont because the public can't trust the gambling regulators in the matter.

Blagojevich made the comments in response to a complaint by one board member that he was interfering in the regulatory process.

The board last Monday went against the recommendation of its staff and decided to award the idle 10th gambling license now held by the bankrupt Emerald Casino to Isle of Capri Casinos Inc., a company that also wanted to build in suburban Rosemont.

"When you consider the fact that we've had problems with the Emerald license, the fact that this license that was granted by the Legislature over 13 years ago has been held up, not serving the people of Illinois like it ought to, the fact that you have all of these allegations of nefarious people involved and possibly in a position to benefit from this license, that to simply trust the Gaming Board, I think, is asking the taxpayers and all of us, too much," Blagojevich said.

He added, "we need to have an independent evaluation of what they're doing, what's been going on there, what are all the facts and circumstances."

Blagojevich said he will appoint a special investigator in a few days. He said it is "incumbent to have outsiders come in here and evaluate, study and carefully scrutinize what's happened in the past and what's currently happened, particularly when the staff recommended one thing and the Gaming Board recommended another."