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Winners and losers: Chicago-area casinos 20 years later

The Empress Casino gambling boat makes its way down the Des Plaines River in 1993. (John Smierciak, Chicago Tribune / June 21, 2012)

The Empress Casino gambling boat makes its way down the Des Plaines River in 1993. (John Smierciak, Chicago Tribune / June 21, 2012)

The first suburban Chicago casino opened 20 years ago this month, bringing with it hundreds of jobs and millions of dollars in taxes, but also stories of gambling addiction and hardship for some area residents.

Joliet’s Empress Casino, which was renamed Hollywood Casino Joliet in 2010, welcomed its first customers in June 1992. Over the next two years, casinos opened in Joliet, Aurora and Elgin. Rivers Casino in Des Plaines opened last July, and gambling expansion talks in Springfield could put new casinos in the north and south suburbs and downtown Chicago.

During the past two decades, the fissure between casino supporters and opponents has remained deep.

Read more at the Chicago Tribune.

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