Chicago Receives Five Bids for First Casino Resort Project in the City


The city of Chicago has received a total of five bids for the casino-resort project.

According to Mayor Lori Lightfoot, her office has received a total of five proposals from four groups to operate the mega-casino that the city has been trying to land for several decades and she is thrilled with this development.

Said Mayor Lightfoot:

“The submission of bid responses represents a major step toward the thoughtful development of a casino resort that uplifts our businesses, employs and empowers our residents, and encourages tourism. We look forward to the next phase of discussions to bring this world-class entertainment experience to our city.”

Bally Submitted Two Proposals

Bally’s Corporation, HR Chicago, Rivers Chicago at McCormick, and Rivers 78 Gaming beat Friday’s deadline to submit the bids. Bally’s submitted two proposals for two different sites: one at the Near North site of the Chicago Tribune publishing center near Chicago Avenue and Halsted, and another at the McCormick Place truck marshaling yards south of the sprawling convention center.

Both proposals by Bally’s call for a $1.6 billion investment and will include a luxury hotel, indoor and outdoor entertainment space, fine dining, and a green space. According to Bally’s, minority investors have a total stake of 25% of the project, with investors including philanthropists, business owners, sports stars, celebrities, and even ordinary Chicagoans.

Neil Bluhm Going All-In

Chicago magnate Neil Bluhm’s Rush Street Gaming signaled that it was going all-in on a Chicago casino proposal by withdrawing its application for a casino at Waukegan. Friday’s announcement revealed that Bluhm’s company is spearheading two development groups with names that tip their hand on where they’d like to break ground: Rivers 78 Gaming LLC and Rivers Chicago at McCormick LLC.

Bluhm has long been considered as a shoo-in to get the Chicago casino project because of his successful track record running the state’s most successful gambling property in the Rivers Casino in Des Plaines and his close ties with Mayor Lightfoot. Lightfoot received over $200,000 in campaign contributions from Bluhm’s daughters Leslie and Meredith.

Hard Rock Endorsed by Rick Nielsen

Hard Rock’s bid as HR Chicago LLC was endorsed by legendary Cheap Trick guitarist Rick Nielsen. It comes nine months after the company received approval from the Illinois Gaming Board to break ground on a casino project in Rockford and nearly six months after opening a casino in Gary, Indiana which is not even a one-hour drive from the office of the Chicago City Mayor

Hard Rock became controversial after it won the Rockford approval despite the fact that state gambling regulators considered disciplinary action against another corporation owned by one of the lead investors of the project.

The Rivers Casino in NY is Holding a Job Fair Soon!

Rivers Casino In NY

New York is home to a fast-growing gambling industry. The casino companies here are now working hard to bring in more guests. It seems they want more employees, as well. New reports claim that the Rivers Casino in NY is set to hold a major job fair on Thursday!

There are many in the Schenectady area looking for a job at this popular casino right now. Now might be the perfect time to jump at the opportunity.

Let’s take a look at what exactly is happening with New York’s casino industry.

Major Casino Hubs Begin Ordering Restrictions Again

The US casino industry has been steadily improving since the mass shutdowns ordered in 2020. Last year showed how vulnerable this gambling industry really is. Over the past seven months, the country’s major casino hubs have been seeing a steady increase in their tourism and gambling revenue.

There is now a real fear that this industry could be heading back toward the way it was in 2020. The Delta variant seems to be spreading around the country and infections are increasing. As a result, many of the country’s top casino destinations are ordering a fresh set of restrictions.

Over in Las Vegas, masks are now once again required on the casino floor. This rule has been scrapped for months. It’s mandated for guests and employees to wear masks again and many gaming analysts fear this could lead to a drop in tourism.

The current restrictions are not nearly as intense as what was seen over the summer last year. Hope is that things stay this way. Ordering lower capacity limits and installing plexiglass barriers inside of Las Vegas casinos will almost certainly affect tourism numbers.

Smaller casino hubs around the country are ordering new restrictions too. These specific regulations vary from state to state. Lawmakers in New York have been discussing whether or not to implement new rules, yet things have largely remained the same over the years.

The casinos in New York are now working hard to boost their revenue figures. Here’s an exciting update on one of the most popular gambling venues in the state!

A Job Fair is Being Held at the Rivers Casino in NY This Week

There are now a large number of popular casinos operating in the state of New York. For many years, only tribal casinos were given permission to operate in this state. Things changed in 2013 when lawmakers approved a measure to allow commercial casinos to operate, as well.

The Rivers Casino & Resort in Schenectady is without a doubt one of the most popular gambling venues in the state. It first opened its doors back in 2017. It’s a commercial casino and allows all major table games on the casino floor.

This week, news broke that a major job fair is being held at the Rivers Casino in NY. This event will take place on Thursday between 10 am to 2 pm. There are said to be 50 openings in its food and beverage department available. Linda Waters, Director of Human Resources at Rivers Casino, spoke about this job fair to the media this week.

“Working at Rivers Casino is more than just a job, it’s a whole lot of fun and very rewarding,” she said. “It’s a great place to work and we always celebrate diversity, encourage personal and professional growth, and stay focused on enriching the lives of our team and their families.”

Anyone interested in getting into the casino industry in New York may want to attend this job fair. The Rivers Casino & Resort is already one of the most popular gambling properties in the state. It will likely continue to grow more popular over the next few years.

Many are still asking for an update on the casino plans for New York City. Here’s a quick look at what is happening with this situation.

NYC’s Casino Plans Seem to be Put on Hold, For Now

New York is clearly focused on expanding its gambling industry. Here, both casino gambling and sports betting are now legal. In many ways, however, these two forms of gambling are limited in this state, though.

Only land-based sports betting is currently allowed in New York. Lawmakers are calling for a change and point toward neighboring New Jersey’s massive revenue earnings from online sports gambling. Governor Cuomo agrees and it appears that online sports gambling will become available here in the near future.

The casino industry here is relatively limited, too. All of the state’s true Class III casinos are currently based in Upstate New York. A growing number of individuals now feel it’s time to open a major casino-resort in New York City.

Plans for this proposed gambling venue have been slowly coming out over the past year. Unfortunately, it seems that these plans are being put on hold. The city has a huge number of major issues to deal with right now and opening a new casino doesn’t seem to be high on the list of priorities.

Things move fast and it wouldn’t be a shock to see a casino open in NYC open its doors sometime over the next few years. It seems likely that this property would grow to become a major hit. We’ll be sure to offer updates on this property over the next few months!

Are you interested in working at Rivers Casino in NY? When do you expect a casino to open in New York City? Let us know in the comments section below!

Popular Illinois Casino Signs New Deal With Chicago Bears

Chicago Bears Logo

For years, Illinois has been preparing to significantly expand its gambling industry. It seems that the state’s sports teams recognize this changing trend. News broke this week that a popular Illinois casino has just signed a new deal with the Chicago Bears.

This should help to bring this gambling venue considerably more exposure. It also goes to show how far the state’s gaming industry has come recently. Now is a great time to talk about exactly which casino the Bears have decided to team up with.

Let’s get into it!

Illinois is Now Home to the Country’s Second-Largest Sports Betting Market

The US sports gambling industry has grown tremendously since 2018. This was the year PASPA was removed, giving every state in the country the ability to legalize its own sports gambling industry. Today, more than 30 states have passed legislation to allow this form of gambling.

Illinois launched its first sportsbook in March of 2020. It immediately became clear that there was a major demand for sports betting. Revenue figures earned from this industry quickly began to surge with each passing month.

Today, Illinois is home to the second-largest sports betting market in the United States. Only New Jersey is ahead in terms of revenue. That’s not a huge surprise when considering New Jersey also draws in a huge number of bettors from neighboring New York.

2021 is proving to be an exceptional year for the sports betting companies in this state. This past April, Illinois saw an astounding $537.2 million in sports betting handle. The vast majority of the bets placed here were made using a mobile device.

Most analysts expect revenue figures from Illinois’ gaming industry to increase as 2021 goes on. That is particularly true if lawmakers approve a measure to allow college sports betting here in the near future. Some even feel that Illinois has the potential to become the country’s biggest sports gambling hub soon.

The casinos here are bouncing back from the events that unfolded in 2020. We’re now beginning to hear about a major new partnership involving one of the state’s sports teams and a casino here.

Chicago Bears Sign New Sponsorship Deal With a Popular Illinois Casino

Illinois is home to a huge number of casinos. Lately, the government here has been working to expand the number of gaming venues operating in the state. It comes as part of the plan to generate more tax money from these properties.

It seems that the state’s embrace of casinos is being noticed by various Illinois sports teams. This week, news broke that the Chicago Bears have just signed a new sponsorship deal with a popular Illinois casino. This is the Rivers Casino in Des Plaines, one of the most successful gaming venues in the state.

The Rivers Casno casino will be the “official casino of the Chicago Bears” moving forward. Bears president Ted Phillips released a statement on this situation to the media. In it, he expressed his excitement and believes this will help the team to better connect with fans.

“We are incredibly excited to announce BetRivers and Rivers Casino as our first multi-year exclusive partner in the Sportsbook and Casino categories,” Phillips said. “We look forward to connecting with our fans in fun and unique ways through these avenues and couldn’t be prouder to be building this relationship with a hometown company.”

The Bears also signed a sponsorship deal with BetRivers, a popular sports betting company in the state. Both this sportsbook and Des Plaines casino will receive access to “digital, social and print assets” of the Bears. This should help to bring these companies significantly more exposure over the next few years.

There is a lot happening with the gambling industry over in Chicago. Here’s a quick look at the state’s plans to launch a casino in the city of Chicago.

What’s Happening With Chicago’s Casino Plans?

Back in mid-2019, lawmakers in Illinois approved a new capital plan that allows for several new casinos to be constructed around the state. To the surprise of many analysts, that includes a new casino in Chicago.

Several issues have come up with attempting to get this venue built, though. First, state officials set an unusually high tax rate for whichever company was granted a license to run this venue. That kept almost all of the country’s major gaming companies from expressing any interest in running this casino.

Location has been another issue. Officials in Chicago have spent a considerable amount of time trying to find the best location to open this venue. There are still several areas of the city under consideration to host the Chicago casino.

There has been little word on this venue for the past few months. Mayor Lori Lightfoot seems determined to make progress, yet other issues are clearly taking precedence. Hope is that Chicago’s first casino will open its doors within a few years.

Those in the Chicago area have plenty of great, nearby gambling venues to choose from. That includes the popular Illinois casino recently partnered with the Bears, Rivers Casino in Des Plaines.

Are you excited to hear about the Bears’ new sponsorship with Illinois gaming companies? Let us know in the comments section below.

Penn National Gaming Secures Partnership With NY Casino

New York

There has been a huge amount of attention placed on Penn National Gaming over the past few years. This company was founded in the 1960s and now owns and operates 43 different gambling venues around the United States. This week, news broke that Penn scored an exciting new partnership with a major NY casino.

This is a huge move for this company. New York is currently in the process of getting its online sports betting industry up and running. Today, we’ll talk about what Penn’s move into this state means moving forward.

Let’s get into it!

New York is Still Working to Approve Online Sports Betting Legislation

New York is home to a huge professional sports industry. It’s no surprise that many lawmakers here immediately began looking into sports betting regulations after PASPA was struck down in May of 2018. Finally, in 2019, the first legal sports wager was finally placed here.

Things weren’t perfect, though. New York went against many recommendations and only decided to legalize land-based sports betting. Sportsbooks opened in various casinos across the state, yet many of them struggled to generate revenue.

Online sports betting has proven to be a far more lucrative industry. Neighboring New Jersey has a regulated internet sports betting industry set in place. Throughout 2020, this state set numerous new sports betting handle records from its online betting operations.

Many have been pushing New York to finally begin allowing online sports gambling. Many lawmakers agree and have been working to draft legislation that allows this form of wagering. Even Governor Cuomo believes it’s a necessity, yet wants to ensure the state benefits from such a move.

A sports betting bill is currently making its way through the state’s legislative process. Under this bill, up to 14 different sports betting operators would have the ability to gain an online license here. There are some issues arising, yet most feel online sports gambling will finally become available in New York this year.

Some major gaming companies are now making the move into this state. That includes Penn National Gaming, which is already banking on online gambling options becoming available here soon.

Here’s What We Know About Penn National Gaming Moving into New York

There has been a lot of media coverage on Penn National Gaming in recent years. Much of that has to do with the company’s investment into Barstool Sports. Back in January of 2019, this company invested an astounding $163 million into Barstool for a 36% stake in the company.

Penn Gaming has also been working hard to expand in recent years. In 2015, for example, it purchased the popular Tropicana Hotel-Casino in Las Vegas. In 2019, the company purchased two more major properties in conjunction with VICI Properties.

Now, Penn seems focused on New York. News broke this week that the company has agreed to a new partnership with Rivers Casino & Resort in Schenectady. This 20-year deal gives Penn access to the New York mobile sports betting and casino market.

Jon Kaplowitz, Penn National’s Sr. Vice President of Interactive Gaming, expressed his excitement about breaking into New York in an official statement this week.

“Gaining potential access to what could become one of the nation’s most lucrative sports betting markets has been a major priority for our Company,” he said. “We are hopeful that the New York State Assembly will follow those leading revenue producing states that allow for multiple skins for mobile sports betting. A state the size of New York certainly warrants open competition and a free market approach.” 

This is a huge move for Penn Gaming. This company has seen tremendous success breaking into new markets in recent months including Michigan. Most agree that New York has the largest online sports betting market in the US.

As of now, New York still has not approved any legislation to allow online sports betting. Once that changes, however, Penn Gaming will have the ability to launch an internet sportsbook here. Stay tuned for more updates over the next few weeks!

Online Sports Betting Revenue Continues Increasing Around the US

New York seems to be just months away from getting its online sports betting operations up and running. The states that have already done so are profiting in a big way. Online sports betting revenue is surging around the country right now.

That includes the aforementioned state of Michigan. Online sports betting didn’t become available here until the final ten days of January. In those ten days, the state saw an online sports betting handle of $113 million.

New Jersey is also seeing impressive online sports betting revenue figures right now. The regulated sportsbooks here earned an astounding $82.6 million in January. Analysts expect even higher figures in February due to the Super Bowl.

Many different states are now working hard to legalize and regulate their online sports betting industries. That includes California and Arizona. Many analysts expect nearly every state to have a sports betting industry set in place by 2025.

Penn National Gaming is getting ahead of the game by breaking into New York. It is likely to pay off as soon as online sports gambling gets approved here.

When do you think New York will begin allowing online sports betting? Let us know in the comments section below!

Rivers Casino to Open First Illinois Sportsbook in Time for March Madness

Sports Betting CartoonJust in time for March Madness, one of sports betting’s hottest times of the year, Illinois just received approval on Friday to open up the first sportsbook in the state.

The BetRivers sportsbook at Rivers Casino will be open and ready to take bets beginning at noon on Monday. Eddie Olcyzk, former Chicago Blackhawks star, was given the honors to place the very first bet.

The Illinois Gaming Board finally granted the 4,840-square-foot BetRivers Sportsbook approval to start taking bets on March 9.

The casino, who is owned by Kentucky-based gambling giant Churchill Downs and Chicago-based Rush Street Gaming, said it plans to launch its official website and mobile app later this year.

6 Illinois Casinos Applied for Sports Betting Status

Rivers was just one of six Illinois casinos in the state who submitted applications for sports wagering licenses.

In December, the gaming board opened up the application process, with applicants hoping to gain approval in time for March Madness.

Hollywood Casinos, which has locations in Joliet, Aurora, and Argon Casino Alton, located near St. Louis, will be releasing information on the status of their sportsbook rollouts in the “coming days.”

Grand Victoria Casino in Elgin hasn’t responded to a request for comment yet. Par-A-Dice Hotel and Casino in East Peoria is further back in the application process than the rest of the casinos.

The Illinois Sports Wagering Act

The Illinois Sports Wagering Act grants the state’s 10 casinos, three horse tracks, and the seven largest sports venues in the state (they must offer 17,000-plus seating capacity) the allowance to operate a sports gaming license.

Within 18 months of the first on-site license launching, three additional, online-only, licenses will be issued. This delayed allowance on mobile sports betting is referred to as the “penalty box” provision in the press.

Sports Betting Licensee Fees

When applying for initial sports wagering licenses, fees must be collected. Take a look at the differing fees among Illinois’ casinos:

  • Alton Argosy: $1,948,186
  • Aurora Hollywood: $5,731,926
  • Des Plaines Rivers: $10,000,000
  • Elgin Grand Victoria: $7,801,967
  • Joliet Harrah’s: $8,581,742
  • Joliet Hollywood: $5,779,948
  • Metropolis Harrah’s: $3,420,849
  • Peoria Par-a-Dice: $3,641,064
  • Rock Island: $3,315,761
  • Louis Casino Queen: $4,975,750

As the chart shows, Des Plaines Rivers casino had to pay out the highest fee for licensing, while Alton Argosy had the lowest application fee.

March Madness Sports Betting Stats

March Madness is a prime betting season for sports bettors. According to the American Gaming Association (AGA), an estimated 47 million Americans planned to wager $8.5 million on the NCAA Tournament in 2019.

With sports wagering becoming more legalized throughout the country, that number is only expected to go up, and this year, Illinois will get a chance to add to the stats.

Take a look at the staggering March Madness statistics found by the AGA:

  • 47 million adults in the US will wager on the NCAA Tournament.
  • 40 million people will fill out a bracket and wager $4.6 billion doing so.
  • 18 million Americans will bet $3.9 billion at some form of sportsbook.
  • 4 million will bet with an illegal bookie.
  • 2 million will bet on an illegal offshore website.
  • 1 million will wager through a regulated retail or online sportsbook.

About BetRivers Sportsbook at Rivers Casino

From their official website:

BetRivers features a LED High Definition Wall and premium stadium seating sure to make you feel like you’re at the game. Monitors line the room and surround the 26-seat bar outfitted with tabletop video poker. 

BetRivers Sportsbook is currently accepting applications for Sportsbook writers and ambassadors.

Rivers Casino to Host Criss Angel’s Show in June

When Criss Angel appeared on the world stage, everyone was kind of shocked. If the name sounds familiar to you, then you probably know why people were amazed at his skills and surprised by this extraordinary individual. If Criss Angel doesn’t ring a bell for you, you missed a whole lot of magic in your life. Lucky for you, there is a chance to compensate for that if you happen to be in Las Vegas in June as Rivers Casino will host one of his shows.

In case you didn’t google his name, let us tell you a thing or two about this magician (or even a wizard, if you will). When you type his name in the YouTube search bar, you will find titles such as ‘Chris Rips Bodies Apart.’ Luckily, he is not a serial killer, and all of that is a part of his well-staged magical performance which took magic tricks to the next level. Of course, not all of his tricks include ripping bodies apart, but the majority of them are pretty unusual.

Therefore, if you are up for some exciting magic tricks, make sure to visit the Event Center at Rivers Casino on Sunday, June 9. The show will start at 8 pm, and the tickets are already available for sale with the price starting at $70.

The name of the show is Criss Angel RAW – The Mindfreak Unplugged, which means that we are going to see some serious tricks that will mess with our minds after all. He will provide a unique magic experience that you have never seen before, and that is based on his street performances and mentalism. His illusions are all intimate and will make you shocked and even scared during some tricks.

Prepare to have your mind blown as Criss Angel and his friends perform tricks that are downright shocking and adrenaline-pumping. There is a good reason why his shows are called MINDFREAK, as he is the perfect magician who knows how to perform his tricks flawlessly.

Who is Criss Angel?

Criss’ real name is actually Christopher Nicholas Sarantakos, and he is a professional American magician of Greek descent. He is one of the most popular personalities connected to magic tricks who gained popularity doing some really interesting and life-threatening magic tricks.

His first TV appearance was back in 1994 when he was a performer on a show called Secrets on ABC. Criss supported Clive Barker and his series, and the two decided to make a film called Lord of Illusions. Angel also cooperated with various other celebrities back in the day, including musicians such as Klayton with whom they released the album called Musical Conjurings from the World of Conjuring.

One of the tricks that made Criss Angel popular worldwide happened back in 2002 when he decided to spend 24 hours in water. This trick required a lot of preparation and Criss risked a lot by being a part of it, one of the things at stake being his life. He was inside the tank for 24 hours and allegedly changed 16 oxygen tanks while underwater. However, his skin reacted to being in the water for too long, and he was hospitalized after that, suffering from severe dehydration.

This trick skyrocketed his career, and he is now one of the most famous magicians around the world. He hosted many magic shows and actively tours across the US. Therefore, if you happen to be in Las Vegas in June, make sure not to miss Criss’ show which is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that you should enjoy.

Rivers Casino to Host The Ohio Players in May

The Ohio Players is a popular R&B band which has a huge tour in front of them, and The Event Center at Rivers Casino will be one of their stops. Their performance is scheduled for May 4 at 8 pm, and tickets are already on sale, starting at $25. If you happen to be near Rivers Casino at that time, make sure to check out their performance which is bound to leave you mesmerized, especially if you consider yourself an R&B and funk lover. Their catchy tunes, smooth basslines, and funky groove will not only put everyone to their feet but will also make them move their hips all the way through the show.

Who Are the Ohio Players?

The Ohio Players play music which is related to funk, soul, and R&B. Their peak popularity was back in the 70s when they made songs such as Fire and Love Rollercoaster. Some of their best performing singles also include songs such as Funky Worm and Skin TIght. One of their biggest achievements actually happened back in 2013 when they were introduced to the R&B Music Hall of Fame at the University of Cleveland, Ohio.

The band was formed in Dayton, Ohio way back in 1959, and their original name was Ohio Untouchables with initial band members Robert Wand on vocals and guitar, Marshall “Rock” Jones on bass, Clarence “Satch” Satchel on saxophone and guitar, Cornelius Johnson on drums, and Ralph “Pee Wee” Middlebrooks on trumpet and trombone. At the time they were formed, they started touring as a backing group to The Falcons, who had some popularity back in the day.

After initial vocalist Robert Ward walked out, the group decided to keep on working, adding two more singers instead of Ward. They were Bobby Lee Fears and Dutch Robinson. During that time, the band was renamed to The Ohio Players and adopted a music format which they play even today. In 1967, they decided to add another vocalist, Helena Ferguson Kilpatrick, only to disband in 1970.

They did not take long to reunite with new band members, and after a couple of singles that were popular locally, they managed to publish Funky Worm, which peaked on the Billboard R&B and even made it to the Billboard Hot 100 in the Top 20 list. Soon after that, they signed with Mercury Records and band’s career skyrocketed.

From 1973 to 1976, the band had a couple of singles that all made it to various top lists, including their popular hit Love Rollercoaster which topped both R&B and Pop charts.

Band members who formed the Ohio Untouchables are not among the living anymore, but their music and their ideas live on with the Ohio Players who have dozens of songs up their sleeve and still continue to actively tour all over the US. Despite their age, the funky rhythms and groovy basslines are still there, as they are still able to rock around the clock.

Their music is very similar to Clinton’s Parliament and Funkadelic as they all belonged to the same period when this type of funky music was making a revolution in the music industry. Songs such as Love Rollercoaster really made the difference back then.

Bill Keena is the General Manager of Rivers Casino, and he stated that the Ohio Players had a classic R&B sound that was incomparable. Furthermore, he added that they were really excited to have them perform at The Events Center.