It’s been more than a year since lawmakers in Illinois approved a measure allowing several new casinos to open in the state. Unfortunately, there have been serious delays getting these new gaming venues up and running. This week, Lori Lightfoot began asking for more information on the proposed Chicago casino.
Many have been excited to see this new property open its doors. There are still questions over who will operate it, though. Today, we’re going to talk about what exactly is happening here.
Let’s get into it!
The Casino Industry in Illinois is Now Shut Down
Casinos around the United States continue to face difficulties. As cases of Covid-19 increase, more states are implementing tougher restrictions on their land-based gaming industries. Some states are taking more dramatic measures than others.
Over in Nevada, casinos are being hit with new capacity limits and tougher health restrictions. Tourism rates in this state continue to fall this year. Many of the biggest casino companies here have recently begun to shift their hours to save money.
Illinois has taken even more intense safety regulations. Not long ago, Governor JB Pritzker announced that all commercial casinos in the state were being ordered to shut down. It’s not much of a surprise when considering the massive increase in infections here.
Gambling operators here are disappointed by this news. It was less than two years ago that the state government passed a new capital plan allowing several new casinos to open in the state. Now, this state’s casino industry is coming to a halt.
Several other states have taken similar measures in recent weeks. The US casino industry is struggling in a way we’ve never seen before and analysts are torn on when things will begin to turn around. Hopefully, the casinos in Illinois won’t be forced to shut down for much longer.
Many are now calling for more work to be done on the proposed gaming venue in Chicago.
Lightfoot Asks Developers for an Update on the Chicago Casino
Lori Lightfoot has supported the plan to open a new casino in Chicago for years. When the capital plan was approved back in 2019, many felt work would immediately begin on this gaming venue. As most know, this has not been the case.
There have been many delays getting this property up and running. Initially, there was trouble getting companies to express interest in operating this venue. The tax rates on this property were extremely high and pushed many casino companies away.
The tax rate was then lowered and several companies began taking a closer look. Location then became an issue. Lightfoot recently began asking potential developers for tips on where they would like to see this venue.
This week, Lightfoot began demanding more information on the Chicago casino. It now appears she is getting some answers. The majority of developers claim that this casino should be located in Downtown Chicago.
Lightfoot seems open to this idea. She understands that opening the casino Downtown would maximize tourism and revenue.
The Chicago Mayor recently claimed that the responses from developers “are indicative of the excitement and anticipation of this once-in-a-lifetime project. Thanks to the responses of nearly a dozen RFI respondents, we are not only one step closer to bringing the long-awaited Chicago casino to life but have the critical information we need to ensure this project will be a success.”
It seems that lawmakers in Illinois are working hard to get this venue up and running. Hope is that things are a little more normal by the time this casino is ready to begin accepting players.
Illinois’ Sports Betting Industry Continues to Bring in Revenue
Lawmakers in Illinois finally approved sports betting earlier this year. It was a long time coming. This state has one of the largest sports betting fan bases in the country and many felt Illinois could become a sports gambling hub.
That has proven true! Since the first sportsbooks launched here, revenue from this industry has been slowly increasing. It’s great news for this state that is in desperate need of more revenue. September proved to be a highly profitable month for the sports betting operators here.
Reports claim that the state saw $305 million in sports betting handle last September. That’s nearly double from August’s handle. Most expect these figures to increase as the months go on.
Illinois is benefiting from its regulated online sports betting industry. Unlike some other states, Illinois allows residents to choose from a number of popular internet sportsbooks. It’s good news, as land-based sports betting is completely shut down here right now.
There is a lot happening with the gambling industry here. We are likely to hear more information on the Chicago casino in the near future. Make sure to stay tuned for updates!
Are you excited to see the new casino in Chicago open its doors? When do you expect this gambling property to open? Let us know in the comments section below.