In late June, Illinois Governor JB Pritzker signed a new $45 billion capital plan that allows for six new casinos to open in the state. This includes a new casino in Chicago. Today, a study on the Chicago casino locations is being released.
There are several possible locations for a brand new casino in the Windy City. Today, we’re looking at where this casino may end up. We’re also going to look at some other major gambling developments happening here. Let’s get into it!
Illinois’ Capital Plan Allows for Five New Casinos
Lawmakers in Illinois have been looking for new ways to generate revenue for the state. With gambling growing more popular around the country, politicians here decided it was time to get in on the profits. Governor Pritzker officially signed a new $45 billion capital plan that allows for six new casinos to open up.
Most of these casinos will be located in rural areas. The cities of Waukegan, Rockford, Danville, Williamson County, and an unnamed city in Cook County have all voted to open a gambling establishment. In Cook County, a “racino” will be opened, as opposed to a traditional land-based casino.
It’s exciting news for gambling fans around the state. Illinois is known for having a passionate gambling fan base. Hope is that the new gambling venues here will generate much-needed revenue each month.
The proposed casino in Chicago is getting the most attention. It’s the first time that a legal casino will operate in the city limits. Now, lawmakers are working to decide where this new casino should open.
Study on the New Chicago Casino Locations is Being Revealed
Today, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot is introducing a new $120,000 feasibility study that evaluates five areas around Chicago for the new casino. Lightfoot claims that the study will allow lawmakers to decide whether or not these locations can hold a new gambling venue. Here are the locations currently being discussed.
- The Old Michael Reese Hospital site in Bronzeville, south of McCormick Place.
- A vacant parcel in Lawndale at Kostner Avenue and Roosevelt Road on the west side.
- Next to Harborside International Golf Center in the Chicago port district on the far southeast side.
- South Works – an old U.S. steel site in the far south side of the city.
- A parcel of land at Pershing and State – four blocks south of Guaranteed Rate Field on the south side.
There are already many complaining about the proposed sites. Pat Dowell, a resident of Bronzeville, feels that the area is not made to hold a major gambling venue.
“A casino … is simply not appropriate for this site,” he said. “A Bronzeville casino would destroy the neighborhood’s character without maximizing the benefit to Chicago.”
Dr. Michael Wenz, an economics professor at Northeastern Illinois University, gave his take on the perfect Chicago casino locations.
“You want to be in a place where you’ll have a high demand for gambling services, and being close to downtown Chicago is a way to address that,” he said. “So I’d be in a place where you can draw the gamblers from downtown, especially tourists, but draw the economic development and employment opportunities from the areas you want to draw the workers from.”
Illinois Set to Legalize Sports Betting
Back in May of 2018, the US Supreme Court struck down PASPA, opening the doors for each state to set its own laws on sports gambling. Today, 10 states have now legalized sports betting and many more have pending legislation to open the industry. Illinois is just about ready to open up sports gambling, as well.
In June, the Illinois Legislature passed a bill to allow both land-based and online sports betting. This bill also allows for placing sports bets in major sports venues including Wrigley Stadium. Placing bets on minor league sports will remain illegal.
There are also many calling for the state to begin regulating online casino gambling. There are currently many great online casinos in Illinois. Unfortunately, the state does not regulate these websites.
Five Chicago casino locations have been revealed. Now, we’ll need to wait and see how lawmakers evaluate these sites. Stay tuned for updates on where this casino will end up over the next few weeks!