Lightfoot On Chicago Casino Operator: There Are No Hometown Favorites

Written By Joe Boozell on July 12, 2021Last Updated on November 9, 2021
chicago casino gaming conference

Joe Boozell of Play Illinois is reporting live from the Gaming States’ National Council of Legislators, Editor & rsquo. For more coverage @ Play_ Illinois, follow him.

At the National Council of Legislators from Gaming States( NCLGS ) conference on Monday, Mayor Lori Lightfoot discussed the potential Chicagocasino. The mayor of Chicago made it a point to inform bidders that the process is available.

There has been a brief discussion about this, I & rsquo, m told. The RFP ( Request for Proposals ) is available to all. There are no friends from home. For anyone in the nation who appreciates the value of living in a town like Chicago, we want to make sure we get the best-in-class options. & rdquo,

Chicago-based Rush Street Gaming is known to be interested. In 2020, the city & rsquo’s Request for Information( RFI ) received responses from Wynn Resorts, Hard Rock, and MGM. According to Lightfoot & rsquo, there is a perception that the license going to Rush Street is unavoidable.

And, despite responding to the RFI, MGM has said it likely won’t pursue the Chicago casino license, citing high tax rates.

Recently, Rush Street Gaming has received a lot of media attention.

Churchill Downs is reviewing bids for Arlington International Racecourse. Rush Street and Churchill Downs share ownership of Rivers Casino. Meanwhile, the Chicago Bearssubmitted a bid to buy the Arlington park. Shortly thereafter, the Bears made BetRivers their official sports betting partner.

But Lightfoot welcomed more bids, as she has publicly stated all together. She also emphasized the potential benefits of a Chicago game for the city and possible operators:

& ldquo, Our city certainly offers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to establish an entertainment and game district in renowned American cities for interested owners and operators. I & rsquo, I’m interested in reviewing the proposals that are submitted. & rdquo,

Let’s take a look at how we got to this point in the Chicago casino process.

Chicago is one of the six Illinois locations to receive a fresh game.

Six regions in Illinois were given the chance to submit bids for a game registration when gambling expansion in 2019 came to an end. They were:

  • Rockford
  • Waukegan
  • Danville
  • County of Williamson
  • South cities
  • Chicago

Chicago has more weight due to its size than any other fresh game venture, despite the fact that it is significant.

Yet, so far, the procedure has proceeded very slowly, and little is known about the casino itself.

For starters, we don’t know where the casino will be located. There was initially reason to think it could be on the south or west side of the city in an effort to spur economic development in those areas. Still, operators seem more interested in putting a casino-resort in the heart of downtown.

Additionally, as was already mentioned, we are unsure of which games operator may run the casino.

However, the city issued a Request for Proposals( RFP ) in April. In late 2021 or early 2022, Chicago should choose a winner proposal and then give the Illinois Gaming Board ( IGB ) access to its materials.

Of course, game uses have not been processed by the IGB. other regions quickly. There still haven’t been any final approvals for new casino licenses, and only two proposals have been found “preliminarily suitable.” Those are Hard Rock Casino Rockford and Walker’s Bluff Casino (in Williamson County).

The IGB has now received criticism from Lightfoot.

Even though Chicago is behind every other region in the application process, The IGB has now received criticism from Lightfoot. anyway.

She said in April via the Chicago Sun-Times:

& ldquo, we & rsquo must proceed quickly after presenting a proposal to them( IGB ). Again, I don’t want to judge it, but I’m thinking that it needs to move more quickly because of the time it takes the game board to complete its task. & rdquo,

In her speech, Lightfoot emphasized the importance of maintaining gambling profits in Illinois. Every day that a Chicago game isn’t already available, Illinois loses money to the Hoosier State thanks to its numerous games in northwest Indiana.

& ldquo, My objective is to return those funds to Chicago residents who are crossing the border into Indiana. I mean no offense to the Hoosiers, but Chicago is a better place to spend that money. & rdquo,

Charles Rex Arbogast / AP image
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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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