House Speaker Robert Gilligan told legislators March 25 he wants a debate on a bill authorizing new casinos in the state by April 1.

House Speaker Robert Gilligan, D-Sherwood Park, told his chamber at the end of its March 25 session he intends to place the bill that would authorize additional casinos in Delaware on the agenda no later than Thursday, April 1.

Gilligan asked any amendments to House Bill 194 be filed by Tuesday, March 30, to give legislators time to digest the proposal and confer in party caucuses before a floor debate.

For weeks, House Majority Leader Rep. Pete Schwartzkopf, D-Rehoboth, the bill's sponsor, has been angling for votes and trying to hash out a compromise.

At stake are competing interests over where any new casinos would be permitted to locate. So far, proposals have cropped up for sites in Indian River, Delmar and Wilmington, in addition to the proposed Del Pointe casino resort project in Millsboro.

Schwartzkopf said he expects to present a compromise amendment by Gilligan's deadline.

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