Chicago is struggling to improve its gambling scene. Five sites which were chosen as candidates to house a gambling platform were rejected by Union Gaming back in August. Plans for a casino in Tinley Park in the suburbs were also determined to be unsuitable.
The rejection comes amidst the connections of the casinos operator with a mob. The plans were cancelled after Rick Heidner who owns video-gaming terminal (VGT) company Gold Rush Gaming applied for a license to put a casino in Tinley Park earlier on during the year. The license was granted by the Illinois Racing Board last month and the area was happy about the decision. Illinois Governor JB Pritzker and the IRB cancelled the plans on Tuesday after a report by the Chicago Tribune indicated that Heidner had ties to Rocco Suspenzi who is a mob figure and chairman of the board of Parkway Bank and Trust. He also has ties to a man who was convicted of tax evasion and running an illegal gambling venue out of a strip club in 2012.
Suspenzi was identified by the Illinois Gaming Board back in 2003 of having concealed his ownership in a casino, the Emerald whilst the bank’s chairman.
Heidner has denied any wrongdoing whilst the results of a FBI raid do not agree. The FBI raided Illinois Senator Martin Sandoval’s home and reportedly found evidence which tied the lawmaker to Heidner. This caused reporters with the Chicago Tribune to investigate deeper into Heidner’s background and they found a link between the gambling businessman and the reported mobster.
Heidner denies any involvement; however, the results of a recent FBI raid disagree. When the FBI raided Illinois Senator Martin Sandoval’s home and office as part of a corruption investigation, the federal law enforcement agency reportedly uncovered evidence that tied the lawmaker to Heidner. That led reporters with the Chicago Tribune to look deeper into Heidner’s background and they uncovered a possible link between the gambling businessman and the reported mobster.