3 companies bid to build a casino-resort in Chicago: Officials | Chicago News


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Three companies want to build a casino and a resort in Chicago, Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s office said on Friday.

Rush Street Gaming, run by Chicago billionaire and Rivers Casino Des Plaines operator Neil Bluhm, submitted two separate bids – one for a casino and resort in McCormick Place and the other south of the Loop on a vacant land between the South Loop and Chinatown along the Chicago River is to be redeveloped by Related Midwest as The 78.

Bally’s Corp. also submitted proposals for two different locations for the casino complexes, while the Hard Rock Casino submitted a single proposal for a casino and a resort.

All five proposals are of “high caliber,” Lightfoot said in a statement issued by the mayor’s office.

“The submission of bid responses is a major step towards the thoughtful development of a casino complex that elevates our businesses, employs and empowers our residents, and encourages tourism,†said Lightfoot.

The proposals will be reviewed by a committee made up of representatives from several municipal departments, which will make a recommendation to Lightfoot.

Chicago City Council must approve all casino plans, as well as state gaming officials.

A 2019 feasibility study recommended that Chicago build a casino “in a tourist location that also enjoys, if possible, decent access to the locals.”

Bally plans to build a $ 1.6 billion complex at the Chicago Tribune Publishing Center, Chicago Avenue and Halsted Street, or the McCormick Place Truck Marshaling Yard, according to a company statement.

Lightfoot is likely to face pressure from aldermen on the south and west sides who want a casino in their neighborhoods. A casino could mean hundreds of jobs in parts of the city that have long been overlooked for private and public investment.

In addition, Gov. JB Pritzker has said he prefers not to locate a Chicago casino near McCormick Place or the city’s central business district, telling newspaper editorial boards in September 2019 that he would like to see the casino will develop in an area of ​​Chicago that has not benefited from the recent downtown development boom.

With his close ties to Chicago’s political and economic leaders, Bluhm has long been viewed as the leader in the high-stakes craps game that will determine the future of Chicago Casino.

Lightfoot attended University of Chicago Law School with Bluhm’s daughter, Leslie Bluhm, and they remain close friends.

A permanent casino could open as early as 2025 in Chicago, although slots could start ringing at O’Hare and Midway airports much earlier – with tentative plans for a temporary casino also in play.

Lightfoot called on companies to submit proposals for “a premier entertainment destination that will catalyze the growth of our vibrant economy, create sustainable and well-paying jobs for our workforce, and bring new financial opportunities to our businesses. “.

The proposals were to include plans for a 500-room hotel, meeting space, restaurants, bars and entertainment venues to create “an entertainment and gaming destination to enhance the urban fabric of the surrounding neighborhood.”

In addition, the company that obtains the right to build the casino must agree to reserve at least 26% of construction contracts for black and Latin American-owned businesses in Chicago and an additional 6% for businesses owned by Chicagoans. Chicago women.

City projections estimate that the casino will generate $ 200 million in revenue each year for the city, which is already going to the underfunded Chicago Police and Fire Department pension funds.

State lawmakers agreed to change the rules of a Chicago casino in the spring of 2019 after a study validated repeated warnings from Lightfoot that a law would give the green light to an expansion of gaming on a scale. state would prevent a Chicago casino from starting.

The feasibility study determined that a Chicago casino would pay an effective tax rate of 72%, while the revised law has an effective tax rate of around 40%.

Contact Heather Cherone: @HeatherCherone | (773) 569-1863 | [email protected]

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