I’ve just pored through two dark summer dramas that should be must reads. They’re filled with tales of cannibalization, regional strife and conflict, horses, riverboats — and despair about the future. 

Great stuff, but the titles need work. One is called “Wagering in Illinois: 2019 Update.” The other is “City of Chicago Casino Feasibility Analysis.

The first is the annual update of the economic state of the Illinois gambling industry by the legislature’s Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability. The latter is the analysis of business prospects for a Chicago casino, produced by a private consultancy for the city of Chicago.

The titles may be terrible, but the stories are gripping and the forecasts sometimes grave. And they couldn’t be more timely, coming after the state legislature in May passed landmark legislation designed to clear the way for a broad expansion of gambling in Illinois, including a new Chicago casino devoted to addressing the city’s severe pension underfunding.

Read the rest at chicagotribune.com.

David Greising is the president and chief executive of the Better Government Association, joining the BGA in 2018. For nearly a century, the BGA has fought for honest and effective government through investigative journalism and policy advocacy.

Greising’s career started at the City News Bureau of Chicago, with stops at the Chicago Sun-Times, Business Week magazine, the Chicago Tribune and Reuters. He was a co-founder of the Chicago News Cooperative and worked briefly as a consultant to World Business Chicago. Today, Greising writes on government issues in regular columns for the Tribune and Crain’s Chicago Business.

Under Greising’s leadership, the BGA has played a key role in uncovering public corruption amidst the wide-ranging federal probe, starting with an in-depth report about Ald. Ed Burke’s conflicts of interest before the federal charges against Burke. The BGA also has exposed waste and fraud at O’Hare and the proliferation of corruption and poverty into Dolton, Lyons and other Chicago suburbs. The BGA’s policy team has led calls for ethics reform in Chicago’s City Council and in state government.