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Attorney General: Rosemont Casino Plan Likely Dead

19 February 2002

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Illinois -- Attorney General Jim Ryan says the Illinois Gaming Board probably will reject a deal to sell the casino license in suburban Rosemont and that he might block the sale if the board doesn't.

"Based on what I know, I think it's highly unlikely they're going to try to sell that now," Ryan told the (Arlington Heights) Daily Herald editorial board on Monday.

The Republican candidate for governor declined to discuss why he thought the deal on the Emerald casino would fail. As attorney general, Ryan represents the Gaming Board in a lawsuit filed by Emerald.

The Gaming Board rejected Emerald's bid for a license last year, claiming the company had ties to organized crime and lied to investigators. Emerald denied the charges and sued the Gaming Board.

Meanwhile, the company has worked out a $600 million deal to sell the casino to Las Vegas-based MGM Mirage, with the state receiving $150 million from the settlement, the paper reported.

Federal prosecutors have subpoenaed records on that deal and the Gaming Board has to decide on the agreement.

Ryan also discussed the possibility of using his powers as the state's chief law enforcement officer to block the sale of Emerald to MGM if the Gaming Board approves it.

"I've had my lawyers looking at whether or not I can block it if they attempt to do it, and I haven't ruled that out," he said.

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