Chicago South Shore Business Owner On Bally’s McCormick Casino Bid: ‘We Can’t Be Afraid’

Written By Joe Boozell on February 11, 2022

Southside businesses are all-in on one of the five Chicago casino proposals: Bally’s McCormick Place.

Bally & rsquo has made an effort to include local companies in its pitch to obtain the sought-after Illinois casino license through its Community Rewards Program. At the game, guests could purchase gift cards and reward points for nearby side businesses.

Jennifer Barnes, owner of South Shore Brew, and Sara Phillips, owner of Chef Sara’s Cafe, recently wrote in a letter that was published in various Chicago publications:

& ldquo, We need strategic allies during this time of recovery and regrowth. Friends who are prepared to assist us in rebuilding alongside our small businesses and neighborhood residents. Chicago is this kind of ally, Bally & rsquo. & rdquo,

With that said, not everyone is on board for a casino on the southside. Local Alderman Sophia King (4th) said:

& ldquo, While I support the idea of using this new profit stream to ease Chicago’s burdensome financial obligations, it shouldn’t be done at the expense of our communities, particularly the less fortunate people. & rdquo,

Barnes, on the other hand, has a different perspective and tells Play Illinois:

& ldquo, We must be enthusiastic whenever there is an investment made in the community. Yes, we must comprehend what our play is and how we stand to gain. However, I believe we must applaud any occasion a very deliberate funding is made. We can’t get frightened, we promise. Outside of this blackjack bid, we usually need to start being excited about opportunities rather than afraid. & rdquo,

And so on:

& ldquo, I believe that includes Black neighborhoods. We must rethink what an option entails. How do we become a part of the conversation and form it, even if there are outdoor investors? There are a lot of talkers and visionaries in our neighborhoods, am I correct? But how can we ensure that we are a part of the action? & rdquo,

a different strategy than Bally & rsquo and Rivers?

As the Chicago casino license process unfolds, we are learning how various bidders are going about acting toward the community.

Rivers Chicago McCormick is another proposition in a related area. According to McCormick’s proposal, it is a little to the north of the Bally & rsquo.

However, the response was no when asked if Barnes had heard from Rivers at all during the course of the procedure. Bally & rsquo appears to be mobilizing the troops to bring as many people and companies on board as possible as Mayor Lightfoot andrquo’s decision draws near.

Examining the five blackjack ideas from Chicago

Five game requests are now being reviewed by the city. Two are from Bally & rsquo, two from Rivers, and one from Hard Rock.

Their suburbs and names are as follows:

  • McCormick Place( South shore ), Bally & rsquo
  • Chicago Tribune Publishing Center Bally & rsquo( near north side )
  • Rivers McCormick( near the southern border )
  • Rivers 78( Chinatown / South Loop )
  • ( Near the south side ) Hard Rock One Central & nbsp

The One Main development is however philosophical and requires not yet approved billions in state financing, making the Hard Rock proposal appear to be the most improbable as of right now.

subsequent actions in the procedure

Lightfoot has said that she hopes to select a winning bid by the end of this year’s second quarter. That implies that it shouldn’t happen later than March’s finish.

The city would then submit an application to the Illinois Gaming Board( IGB ) along with the winning bidder. In order for the license to be issued and for construction to start, the IGB would need to approve the bidder & rsquo,s application.

The IGB has been slow to approve applications for different casino licenses. It has occasionally taken longer than two decades.

Lightfoot has proactively urged the IGB to speed up its process for the Chicago casino license. But for now, there is nothing that the board can do. One of the biggest decisions of Lightfoot’s tenure awaits, and it will have a ripple effect across Chicago communities.

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Boozell, Joe

Boozell, Joe has also been a college sports writer for since 2015. His work has also appeared in Bleacher Report, and Growing up, Boozell squared off against both Anthony Davis and Frank Kaminsky in the Chicagoland basketball scene … you can imagine how that went.

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