Chicago gets down to considering five casino proposals from three hopefuls

As part of the campaign to bring a large casino to downtown Chicago and a trio of companies have reportedly submitted five proposals that are to now be considered by the office of mayor Lori Lightfoot (pictured).

According to a Thursday report from local television broadcaster WGN-TV, the competing propositions have been officially presented by operator hopefuls Hard Rock International, Bally’s Corporation and Rush Street Gaming with officials eager to have picked a winner before the end of March. The source detailed that the Chicago City Council will also have to sign off on any plan to build a casino in the center of the metropolis before the selected scheme is sent to the five-member Illinois Gaming Board for further approvals.

Aboriginal anticipation:

Regarding the proposal from Hard Rock International, which is an enterprise of the federally-recognized Seminole Tribe of Florida, and the broadcaster reported that the operator envisions spending in the region of $1.7 billion so as to bring a casino to the One Central development that is taking shape just a stone’s throw from the 61,000-seat Soldier Field gridiron football stadium. The firm purportedly envisions its Illinois venue offering in the region of 3,000 gaming positions in addition to a music venue and a 500-room high-rise hotel that could create up to $70 million in annual revenues for the city of Chicago.

Prestigious petitioner:

The remaining pair of bidders have each reportedly lodged plans for two casino schemes with the first project from Bally’s Corporation encompassing a $1.8 billion redevelopment of the Chicago Tribune Publishing Center, which sits on Michigan Avenue in the heart of the city’s business district. This proposal would purportedly similarly feature a 500-room hotel and a 3,000-seat concert facility but have its gaming compliment upped to as many as 3,600 positions.

Bally’s Corporation was previously known as Twin River Worldwide Holdings Incorporated until undergoing a name change last year and it is already responsible for 15 locations spread across the United States including the large Bally’s Atlantic City venue and the more modest Bally’s Evansville property. The second Chicago proposition from the Providence-headquartered firm would reportedly see it spend approximately $1.6 billion in order to transform a truck marshalling yard along McCormick Place into an enterprise featuring a local sports museum, six restaurants and a casino with some 3,400 slots.

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Remaining runner:

Rush Street Gaming lol646 is headquartered in Chicago and its first proposal would reportedly involve a $1 billion repurposing of the Lakeside Center of McCormick Place into a venue offering 2,600 slots and 190 gaming tables. This ‘southside’ plan would purportedly involve less construction due to the fact that it would utilize existing structures and additionally see the finished facility having a 25% minority ownership stake.

If this proposition is not picked, Rush Street Gaming has reportedly floated a second plan that would see a vacant plot of land along the banks of the Chicago River transformed into a $2 billion gambling-friendly venue. This scheme would purportedly open complete with a 300-room hotel and a casino offering in the region of 2,800 gambling positions while additionally offering guests the ability to arrive by boat.

Financial foundation:

For her part and Lightfoot reportedly asserted that the new downtown Chicago casino could be open by the end of 2025 generating as much as $200 million in annual revenues. The Democratic politician purportedly furthermore noted that such a venue could employ up to 3,000 people with any resultant tax revenues to be earmarked for the city’s underfunded police and fire pension programs.

Reportedly read a statement from Lightfoot…

“The devil is in the details and my team is going to do a deep scrub with them to make sure we understand; are these projects really viable? We want partnership but we don’t want to foot the bill for somebody else’s casino. So, they’ve got to be financially viable.”