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Gov. Quinn Reinstalls Judge Jaffe as Illinois Gaming Board Chairman

Gov. Quinn Reinstalls Judge Jaffe as Illinois Gaming Board Chairman

Last Friday, Governor Pat Quinn named his choices of appointees to different vacant or expired positions in various state regulatory bodies, including the leadership posts of the Illinois Gaming Board (IGB). An ostensible cause of consternation to most Illinois lawmakers is the reappointment of both Judge Aaron Jaffe and Michael Holewinski for another term as Chairman and Vice Chairman of the IGB respectively.

During the recently concluded Illinois legislative sessions, the state governor rejected laws proposing gambling expansion movements that he perceived as lacking proper state regulatory oversight. Governor Quinn’s statement last Friday conveyed his views about the criticality of having strong supervision over Chicago’s gambling industry, which Chairman Jaffe and Vice Chairman Holewinski have carried out effectively during their terms.

In fact, Chairman Jaffe has been quite vocal and petulant in opposing gambling expansion bills, which propose the addition of five casinos and slot machine operations that will not undergo the oversight procedures performed by the state gaming board before the granting of licenses. Provisions in the proposed legislation include giving the Chicago City Hall complete authority over city-owned casinos; excluding the Illinois State Police in investigations concerning organized crime in a Chicago casino, and in dispensing with the finger-print requirement for new slot machine operators, just to name a few.

Still, members of the state gaming board are still subject to votes of confirmation coming from the Senate body; thus, many expect there will be efforts to derail Governor Quinn’s bid to reinstall Jaffe and Holewinski. After all, the more than 500-page documents containing the gambling expansion proposals include a provision seeking the resignation of the entire Illinois Gaming Board.