Yesterday, Chicago Mayor, Lori Lightfoot, announced five sites being considered for a casino in Chicago. The mayor will be completing a feasibility study to evaluate the economic impact of such locations before a final site will be chosen. A recent gaming expansion approval will allow the first-ever casino in Chicago as well as five more throughout the state.
The Five Sites:
The decision to add a casino in Chicago is a big one. As the five sites have been decided, the study will need to take place evaluating each location for viability. Union Gaming will be the acting consultant for the study, having been appointed by the city. The state’s Gaming Board will then review the findings and report to the city and lawmakers within a 45 day time frame of receiving the reports.
The city will also be accepting feedback from residents and communities nearby via an online survey. Town halls will also be hosted in Chicago communities but have yet to be scheduled.
The five sites chosen by Mayor Lightfoot include:
- Bronzeville area at Pershing Road and State Street
- Bronzeville area at the former Michael Reese hospital
- Lawndale area at Roosevelt Road and Kostner Avenue
- Pullman area via Harborside at 111th and the Bishop Ford Freeway
- South Chicago at 80th and Lake Shore Drive, the location of the former U.S. Steel parcel
Mayor Lightfoot commented on the plans by stating: “While a Chicago casino had been talked about for more than 30 years, today we are moving forward to ensure the new casino is viable for Chicago and all of its communities.”
The ability for the Windy City to open its very first casino is due to the “Rebuild Illinois” plan being approved by Governor J.B. Pritzker earlier this month. The plan is a huge reconstruction effort for Illinois and includes sports betting, the casino for Chicago, five additional casinos in the state and more.
The land-based venue will be one of the largest in the state, featuring 4,000 slot and table game seats. Revenues produced from the casino will provide funds for police and fire pensions, which are currently underfunded.