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Chicago Crime Commission wants reappointment of Illinois Gaming Board Chairman

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May 02, 2011

Today, the Chicago Crime Commission sent a letter to Governor Pat Quinn strongly encouraging the reappointment of Judge Aaron Jaffe to a new term as Chairman of the Illinois Gaming Board. In its letter to the Governor, the Chicago Crime Commission warned that without the right leadership, Illinois' gaming industry could become vulnerable to organized crime and other unscrupulous elements.

In its letter to the Governor, the Chicago Crime Commission said that the organization has closely observed the leadership of Judge Jaffe and the operations of the Illinois Gaming Board. "During Judge Jaffe's tenure the integrity of the Board and its operations have never been questioned. Illinois is most fortunate to have a man with such an exemplary record," according to Arthur J. Bilek, Executive Vice President of the Chicago Crime Commission.

Bilek said since his appointment in 1995, Judge Jaffe has performed his role in a highly commendable and most praiseworthy manner. "His six years of service have been unblemished by charges of corruption or favoritism. Under his stewardship the Board has protected the public interest and enforced the statutes and rules relating to the gambling casinos. As a result casino gambling in Illinois has an unequalled reputation for integrity and honesty," he continued.

Most importantly, in a state known as the home of Al Capone and the Mob, Judge Jaffe has prevented organized crime from entering the casino business. "Given the powerful forces arrayed against the public good and the millions of dollars available for lobbying and campaign contributions, this has been a significant accomplishment," Bilek said. "Many states have not been as successful, and many reputations have been destroyed by the failure to keep organized crime out of legalized gambling," he added.

The letter went on to say that under Jaffe's leadership, the Illinois Gaming Board has insured that the laws of the state are applied justly and fairly to gambling operations and tax collecting at the state's legalized casinos. "The gambling industry is a difficult field to administer not only in this state but across the country. Missteps have resulted in thunderous media criticism and public scorn. The temptations and opportunities for misadventure are well known," said Bilek.

The Chicago Crime Commission expressed concern with the fact that Jaffe's appointment expired July 1st, 2007 and stressed that now is not the time to change the Illinois Gaming Board's leadership. "With legalized video poker and new casinos and racinos fast approaching, it is even more important to insure that the Gaming Board functions with the highest of standards and steadfast resistance to inappropriate pressures," Bilek concluded.

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