Daily dose: Local history, gambling revenue and costlier Tribune

Daily dose: Local history, gambling revenue and costlier Tribune

Local history

In 1911, Cecil Morton, the 14-year-old son of Royal farmer John Martin, was kicked in the head by a mule last night and is suffering from a fractured skull. He was taken to Burnham Hospital last night, and Dr. Rease operated on the boy this morning and relieved pressure. The boy is reported to be resting easily.

In 1961, Santa Claus will arrive in downtown Champaign Friday morning when he is scheduled to appear in a puff of smoke at 1:30 p.m. atop the Flatiron Building at Hickory and Neil. He then will be driven over by fire engine to his Champaign headquarters in West Side Park. And Friday night there will be a fireworks display downtown. In Urbana, Santa will arrive by way of a parade at 10 a.m. Saturday, seated in a decorated sleigh pulled by four prancing ponies. He will greet children in his Sugar Plum House in the courthouse square.

Quinn says gambling revenue overstated

By the Associated Press ...

CHICAGO — Gov. Pat Quinn’s office touted a new report Monday that concludes Illinois wouldn’t get much extra money through a massive expansion of gambling, a finding that seems to support the governor’s call for a more restrained approach.

The report says an initial gambling expansion bill passed by lawmakers would bring in about $160 million in new annual gaming revenue for the state and not the extra $1 billion they say some have claimed. That bill was never sent to Quinn, who threatened to veto it because it included slots at racetracks, which he opposes. It did include five new casinos, including the first one in Chicago. Illinois currently has 10 casinos.

Chicago also would benefit more from gambling expansion if casino-style gambling with slot machines at race tracks isn’t allowed, said a summary of the report by the New Orleans-based Innovation Group.

“A lot of these racetracks with casinos are going to be on top of other casinos. They will dilute the amount of gaming, so that will cause lower amounts for other casinos,” said Jack Lavin, Quinn’s chief of staff.

The Illinois horse-racing industry has said it needs slots at tracks to survive and compete with other states.

The report studied not only the original gambling bill also two other scenarios that excluded slots at tracks and had fewer gaming positions at the casinos. Quinn’s office said the report was commissioned in September and cost less than $20,000.

Democratic Rep. Lou Lang of Skokie, a sponsor of the gambling expansion measure, said estimates can be low when it comes to gaming revenues. But even if the governor’s report underestimates how much money a gambling expansion would bring in, it’s still new money for the state, even if it’s less than proponents have suggested.


Costlier Tribune

From Crain's Chicago Business ...

Chicago Tribune is doubling and tripling weekday delivery rates for some customers when readers' subscriptions are up for renewal.

The newspaper, a unit of Chicago-based Tribune Co., has sent customers letters in recently notifying them of the increases while others have simply seen a higher price show up on their credit card bills. The rate jump depends on what a customer was paying previously.

“I'm writing to let you know that while we worked hard to maintain pricing in this challenging economy and industry for the last couple years, your current pricing is about to expire,” one letter to a Chicago Tribune subscriber said, before noting the new charge.

In a statement, the paper said, "We are asking our home delivery customers to pay a new rate based on the value we provide and the increasing cost of doing business. All home delivery subscribers will still enjoy a discount off of the newsstand price."

The rate increase follows the paper's decision in June to add some 40 pages of additional content each week. The move catered to the paper's loyal home-delivery customers at a time of increased competition from national papers such as the New York Times and Wall Street Journal in the Chicago market.






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