The Illinois Senate recently approved a casino bill which would provide casinos with the power of eminent domain. If it passes, SB 1739 would amend the state’s Eminent Domain Act:

“The following provisions of law may include express grants of the power to acquire property by condemnation or eminent domain: Chicago Casino Development Authority Act; City of Chicago; for the purposes of the Act”

The legislation further provides that acquisition of property for a casino could be considered a “public use”:

“For the lawful purposes of this Act, the City may acquire, by eminent domain or by condemnation proceedings in the manner provided by the Eminent Domain Act, real or personal property or interests in real or personal property located in the City, and the City may convey to the Authority property so acquired. The acquisition of property under this Section is declared to be for a public use.”

The bill passed 32-20 in the state Senate on May 1 and is now being considered by the House Executive Committee.