In recent weeks a new gaming bill has been introduced in Illinois to allow slots at horse racing tracks. To the utter dismay of most people, our legislators have omitted Fairmount Park from this bill. As of now if passed, Fairmount Park will not get slot machines but all other tracks will.
The explanation given for this: If Fairmount Park has slot machines, it could cut into the profits of the Casino Queen, which in turn would cut tax revenue for East St. Louis. The Casino Queen does not want competition so they went to city government and said they would lose tax revenue, so the city began lobbying against it. Our elected officials didn't have the courage to do what is right and be truthful; they were swayed by money and the fear of appearing to be racist as East St. Louis is predominantly black. They should have told the people of East St. Louis that we live a free country with free enterprise for all.
No one cared when the Casino Queen came in and took away the profits from Fairmount Park; I didn't hear the people or city of East St. Louis complaining then. They have had 21 years with no competition, which was plenty of time and plenty of tax revenue to change the city.
It's time for government corruption and handouts to stop, time for our elected officials to do what is right for all, not just a minority.
Pete J. Scalcione