Thursday, March 18

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10th casino license reviewed

Governor to appoint a special investigator to assist
state board with suitability analysis      
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 [MARCH 18, 2004]  CHICAGO -- On Wednesday Gov. Rod Blagojevich called on the Illinois Gaming Board to conduct a full, open and public review of all of the facts, problems and concerns surrounding gaming in the village of Rosemont, including the problems associated with Emerald Casino, the previous owner of the 10th license. The governor also said he will appoint a special investigator to work with the board to assist with the review and help oversee the process.

The board is currently required to conduct a suitability analysis of any casino operator in Illinois. However, Blagojevich believes the review should not be limited solely to the bid submitted by the Isle of Capri Corporation, and, as a result, he is calling for a heightened investigation to address all of the questions and concerns that have surrounded gaming in Rosemont since the initial decision was made to award the license to Emerald.

"Before the 10th license can be up and running, we need to make sure that every legitimate concern surrounding the license is fully reviewed, considered, and publicly addressed and aired. All of the questions surrounding the location of a casino in Rosemont is undermining the public's confidence in the process. In the past, there were clear problems surrounding the location of the 10th license in Rosemont. By conducting a full and open review, we can discover whether those problems still exist. Once that process is completed, the 10th license can move forward with the confidence of the people of Illinois," Blagojevich said.

The heightened review would examine all issues surrounding the Isle of Capri's negotiations with the village of Rosemont, including whether any of the concerns that caused the board to take revocation actions against Emerald Casino Inc. are still present in any way.

 

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Blagojevich's special investigator would be directed to assist the board in looking into prior allegations of wrongdoing and determine whether those concerns still exist. Blagojevich said that appointing an independent special investigator will help ensure the integrity of the suitability analysis and offer additional resources and expertise to the board. The suitability analysis must begin after the bankruptcy court clears the sale of Emerald Casino's assets to the Isle of Capri.

"The special investigator will be available to make sure the Gaming Board has all of the resources they need to conduct their review and to provide assistance, advice and guidance. Only when the process is completed and the findings are fully and publicly vetted can the location and operation of 10th license proceed in a way that has the public's confidence," Blagojevich said.

[News release from the governor's office]

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