Lori Lightfoot Offers an Update on Chicago’s Casino Plans

As June approaches, the US casino industry is slowly getting back on track. More gambling venues are starting to open their doors and revenue is starting to flow in. This week, Mayor Lori Lightfoot offered an update on Chicago’s casino plans.

Lori Lightfoot At Press Conference

Chicago remains one of the worst-hit cities in the United States from the coronavirus. Things have been very slow to open up here. Today, we’re going to discuss when we might see the first casino in Chicago open its doors.

Illinois’ Expanded Casino Plans Are Put On Hold

Illinois isn’t typically thought of as a US gambling hub. Over the past few years, however, lawmakers in this state have begun to see the potential in this industry. Back in June of 2019, state officials approved a new Capital Plan that allows for five new casinos to open up.

That includes a new casino in Chicago. Many politicians here believe that opening a casino in this city will help to boost tourism and bring in a huge amount of revenue. Unfortunately, high tax rates have made it difficult to find a company willing to operate a gambling venue here.

These plans are now being put on hold. As the global pandemic hit, officials in Illinois decided to delay construction on these venues. It’s still not entirely clear where in Chicago this new casino will be constructed.

Not all forms of gambling are completely shut down here, though. In March, lawmakers officially legalized sports betting. Both online and land-based sports wagering options are now available in the state.

Things seem to be improving around the country. As we already mentioned, many states are already opening up their casino industries. This week, the Mayor of Chicago talked more about opening the proposed casino in Chicago.

Mayor Lightfoot Gives An Update On Chicago’s Casino Plans

Many were excited to hear that a casino was being planned for Chicago. Illinois is known for having a large gambling fan base. Despite the trouble finding a company to run this new gaming venue, most felt it would be highly successful.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot recently spoke about building this new casino. She feels that it should become part of a much larger “entertainment complex” built within the city.

“I see this as a large entertainment district — not just the box of a casino. In order for us to maximize this once-in-a-generation opportunity that the General Assembly has given us and to maximize the opportunity for revenue, for jobs, for long-term economic viability of the city and, of course, to address our pension debt, we‘ve got to be thoughtful and intentional about what we’re designing so it’s something that attracts people from all over the world,” she said.  

Lightfoot went further, claiming that she and many other city officials want to see progress made.

“That’s what I see. Chicago is a global city. We need a world-class entertainment district, of which a casino is a part, but not the entirety. So there’s a lot of work that needs to be done between now and then and we’re anxious to get started.”

It was exciting to hear this update on Chicago’s casino plans. Unfortunately, Lightfoot is still unwilling to reveal where this gaming venue will open its doors. We’re likely to hear more about the opening of this casino over the next few weeks.

Nearby States Begin Looking to Reopen Casinos

It’s not entirely clear when the casinos in Illinois will open back up to the public. Covid-19 infection rates remain high in this state. Many lawmakers are beginning to take a closer look at getting the state’s gaming industry running again, though.

Some nearby states have recently announced they plan to reopen their casinos. That includes Missouri. This week, state leaders announced that two casinos in the St. Louis area are scheduled to open up this weekend.

Until Illinois’ casinos open, many gambling fans in this area are likely to play inside these Missouri gaming venues.

Incredibly, the casinos in Las Vegas are scheduled to open up next week. It was a long and difficult road to get these plans approved. Governor Sisolak seems content with the safety measures set in place and is allowing several major casino-resorts to open their doors on June 4th.

Lori Lightfoot has just offered an update on Chicago’s casino plans. She wants to see an entire entertainment center built in this city. When and where this casino-resort will be constructed is still unknown.

Are you excited to see a casino built in Chicago? When do you expect this to happen? Let us know in the comments section below.