Illinois voters have recently approved plans for several new commercial casino establishments to be built around the state. This includes a brand new casino in the state’s most populous city, Chicago. This week, Illinois mayor Lori Lightfoot discussed a few potential Chicago casino sites.
It’s an exciting time for this state’s gambling market. It’s clear that officials here want this casino in Chicago to be successful. Let’s take a quick look at where this new gambling establishment could be located.
Illinois’ Voters Approve New Casinos
In June of this year, lawmakers in Illinois presented a bill that calls for more casinos, legalized sports betting, and a new gambling infrastructure program. Voters in this state could decide whether or not to allow this gambling expansion.
Illinois has always had some pretty lenient gambling laws. Land-based casino gambling was fully legalized here in 1991. At this time, however, only casinos located on riverboats were allowed to operate. Over the past several years, laws changed to allow casinos to operate on land. There are also a huge number of online casinos in Illinois that are currently available.
State officials here have been working hard to increase gambling revenue. Hope was that the bill to expand casino gambling would accomplish this goal. Voters in the state felt that expanding the casino gambling operations was a good idea, as well.
This bill, which Governor JB Pritzker called the “the most comprehensive reconstruction effort in this state’s history,” allows for six new casinos in Illinois. As we mentioned above, this includes a new casino in the Windy City. The mayor of Illinois has recently begun to talk about the potential Chicago casino sites being considered.
Possible Chicago Casino Sites
The new casino in Chicago will be the first in the city’s history. It’s a huge development for this city, which is well-known for having one of the most passionate casino and sports gambling fan bases in the country. A legal gaming venue here is expected to bring in some massive revenue figures.
Of course, there are many steps that need to be taken before this casino will be constructed. As soon as this bill was approved, several analysts began wondering where exactly the Chicago casino would be constructed. The city’s mayor, Lori Lightfoot, began to shed light on this earlier this week.
According to Lightfoot, there five potential Chicago casino sites are being constructed. All of them lie in the South and West side of the city. One potential location, in Bronzeville, is quickly being shut down by other city officials. The other potential locations can be seen below.
- A site near the Harborside International Golf Center site at 111th and the Bishop Ford Freeway.
- Pershing Road and State Street.
- Roosevelt Road and Kostner Avenue.
- The former U.S. Steel parcel at 80th and Lake Shore Drive.
Governor Pritzker has made it clear that he wants the casino constructed outside of the downtown business area. Samir Mayeker, deputy mayor for economic and neighborhood development, claims that finding the right site is hugely important for the success of the casino’s future.
“This is not about sites. This is about putting in test cases for … an economic feasibility study,” he said.
Concerns Linger Over Chicago’s City Future
It’s an extremely exciting time in Illinois’ gambling scene. It’s also great to see officials in this city looking for quality Chicago casino sites. Unfortunately, many feel this casino is facing an uphill battle.
Much of this is due to the tax rates that Illinois is charging for this future casino. It will be the highest-taxed gambling venue in Illinois and will cost companies millions just to secure a license to begin operating here. A number of companies, including Las Vegas Sands, states that it has no intention of entering into the Chicago gaming scene.
Once these Chicago casino sites are narrowed down, gambling companies can begin to weigh the pros and cons of operating here. Some of the biggest names in Chicago are pushing for the casino to be built in certain areas. Michael Edwards, CEO of Chicago Loop Alliance, believes that the Loop (Chicago’s central business area) is the perfect place for this new casino.
“Chicago Loop Alliance has been involved in past conversations around a casino in the city, and we hope that involvement will continue with this administration. During past discussions, a site in the Loop made sense to us given the area’s access to transportation, lodging, entertainment, retail, and other amenities.”
Make sure to stay tuned for updates on the state’s decision for Chicago casino sites. We’ll keep you informed as developments come out!