SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WTVO) — Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara urged lawmakers to allow a casino to be built in Rockford, during a two day visit to Springfield.

McNamara, along with Rockford’s Legal Director Nicholas Meyer, testified during a House hearing on casino expansion in Illinois.

McNamara and Meyer met with legislative leaders and the governor’s staff, saying the effort to bring a casino to Rockford has been on-going for decades.

“We’ve literally been going down to Springfield for the past 25 years, asking (lawmakers) to pass a gaming expansion bill that would include the City of Rockford, and now there’s an incredible sense of urgency,” McNamara said.

The Mayor says the urgency stems from Beloit’s fast moving efforts to build a casino just across the Wisconsin border.