A little over a year ago, lawmakers in Illinois approved a new measure to allow several more casinos to open around the state. One of these casinos will open in the city of Chicago. This week, Mayor Lori Lightfoot began asking potential developers for more information on the new casino in Chicago.
It’s been a long road trying to get this new casino up and running. That’s particularly true now that the global pandemic has shut down casinos around the country. Today, we’ll look at what this new move from Lightfoot means for the Chicago casino.
Chicago Casino Continues to Face Delays Opening
Over the years, Illinois has grown to become a popular casino destination. Lawmakers began taking a closer look at how much revenue was being earned at the gaming venues here. Many called for an expansion and looked at which cities would be willing to host new casinos.
In June of 2019, Illinois Governor JB Pritzker officially signed a new capital plan that allows for six new casinos to open around the state. Hope is that the revenue earned from these venues can go towards many of the state’s upcoming infrastructure projects.
One of the most interesting points of this new plan was opening a new casino in Chicago. This would become the first legal Class III gambling venue to ever open in “The Windy City.” It quickly became clear that doing so would be difficult, though.
Illinois set an unusually high tax rate on this proposed casino that kept potential operators away. Most felt it would be impossible to make a profit. Eventually, lawmakers agreed to lower this tax rate to better cater towards casino companies.
Location also became an issue. Several different areas were looked at to host the new casino in Chicago. None were overly appealing to potential operators of the casino. It’s still not entirely clear where this property will be located.
City officials are interested in finding out which companies want to run this casino. Lori Lightfoot is now inviting potential developers to speak about their plans.
Developers Are Invited to Speak About the New Casino in Chicago
State leaders are eager to get Chicago’s new casino up and running. Illinois, like many other states, is desperate for money right now. Additional revenue from the casino industry will be hugely beneficial.
This casino can’t be rushed, though. Officials still need to know how exactly different companies plan to run this exciting new venue. This week, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot invited potential casino developers to speak about how they plan to run the new casino in Chicago.
“After securing favorable legislation that had eluded us for decades, Chicago can finally pursue a once in a generation opportunity to bring a casino to our city, generating hundreds of millions in new gaming revenues to shore up the City’s pension obligations and drive huge levels of infrastructure funding in Illinois as well as creating thousands of new and much needed jobs for local residents,” she said. “This is the right time to begin having these discussions as we continue to lay the foundation to make a strong recovery from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Lightfoot is asking these developers nine different questions related to how they will run this property. That includes questions on how big the casino will be, and what amenities it will include. The mayor and other city officials will then have a better idea as to which company should operate the new casino in Chicago.
Another main focus will be on where this casino should be located. Lightfoot hopes that the invited developers will have some helpful ideas. We’ll continue offering updates on this meeting over the next few weeks!
What’s Going On With Illinois’ Sports Betting Industry?
In May of 2018, the US Supreme Court officially removed PASPA, a set of laws that prohibited sports betting in all states aside from Nevada. Doing so immediately gave every state the ability to legalize this form of gambling. Now, more than two years later, 18 states now have legal sports betting options available. Several more will launch these options soon.
Illinois officially launched its sports betting industry on March 9th of 2020. Both online and land-based betting is available. Eventually, in-person sports betting will even become available inside the state’s many sporting arenas.
The timing for this launch certainly wasn’t ideal. In March, nearly every major sports league around the world shut down. It wasn’t until May that sports slowly began to come back. As a result, revenue earned from this industry is very low.
Things are improving, though. Governor Pritzker recently revoked a measure that required bettors to register in-person before placing bets online. Experts feel this will increase monthly revenue by millions of dollars.
Nearly every state around the country has looked into the regulation of this industry. Many are protifing massively already. In time, almost all states will have some form of regulated sports gambling options available.
Are you excited to see the new casino in Chicago constructed? Where do you think it should be located? Let us know in the comments section below!