Mayor Lightfoot Gives Ambitious Update On Chicago Casino Next Steps

Written By Joe Boozell on November 8, 2021Last Updated on December 8, 2021
Lori Lightfoot

During the first quarter of 2022, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot expressed her desire to have the Illinois Gaming Board ( IGB ) receive a final list of potential Chicago casino players.

Towards the end of October, the city got five proposals for its casino license, including submissions from Bally’s, Rush Street Gaming, and Hard Rock.

Lightfoot stated in her Friday press conference, reported by the Chicago Sun-Times, that the Chicago casino will contribute to financing police and fire pension funds.

You know that the funds from the casino will be used to cover our police and fire pensions. There’s no better time than now for this, so we are extremely interested in advancing this process as swiftly as possible.

“According to Lightfoot, all the ideas were very intriguing, strong, and well-thought-out,” he noted.

However, the president stated that before suggesting labels for the IGB, it’s likely that development groups will be given an opportunity to contribute to the city. She commented:

“Our team continues to review and examine the responses. We expect to invite the numerous respondents to present their proposals.”

Lightfoot would need to act soon if she intends to achieve her goal of recommending entrants to the IGB by the end of the first quarter of 2022.

We are aware that the IGB doesn’t have a track record of quick casino application evaluations. However, despite nearly two years of stagnation, the city is making headway with its highly publicized casino project.

A look at the game software in Chicago

Two development groups submitted bids to Rush Street Gaming, and Bally & rsquo proposed two projects. Hard Rock made one suggestion.

The following information is what we know about the suggested sites:

    Chicago: Bally & rsquo: & nbsp, Chicago Tribune Publishing Center

  • Chicago’s Bally: McCormick Place Truck Marshaling Yard
  • Rivers Chicago is located at McCormick LLC, specifically at the Lakeside Center’s McMick Place.
  • The development site of Rivers 78 Gaming LLC in the South Loop is located at Chicago.
  • Chicago’s Hard Rock: Mysterious

Each of Bally’s bids would represent an investment of $1.6 billion. Bally’s is intensifying its efforts in Illinois, where it currently runs the establishment formerly known as Jumer’s Casino & Hotel in the western part of the state.

While Hard Rock is constructing a game in Rockford, Rivers Casino in Des Plaines is receiving significant investment from Rush Street Gaming.

Considering the seriousness and past successes of comedian co-founder Neil Bluhm in the state, it seems highly probable that Rush Street Gaming will secure the license. The fact that they even withdrew their application for a game permit in Waukegan indicates their full commitment to Chicago.

Lightfoot has stated that “there are no hometown favorites” when it comes to the license. This implies that Bally’s and Hard Rock are expected to provide significant competition.

If presentations are made available to the public, it would be fantastic to explore the details of each plan.

The most recent information on Waukegan, north residential casino licenses

Two bidders each are still in the running for both the Waukegan and south suburban casino licenses. They consist of:

    Waukegan Full House Resorts

  • Waukegan-based Lakeside Casino LLC
  • Matteson, South Suburbia (south suburbs)
  • Cities of Homewood East and Hazel Crest South of Wind Creek LLC

In October, the number of candidates was reduced by the IGB. On October 28, applicants from the southern suburbs presented their respective cases to the board.

Between now and the end of the year, all four candidates can submit their final proposals to the IGB. They will also have the opportunity to give more detailed answers to any questions the committee members may have raised about them during the presentations.

IGB Administrator Marcus Fruchter has stated that the committee plans to make a decision on each license by early January. During this period, they may also introduce a primary suitability and ‘rdquo’ acquisition, which is the final step before obtaining full approval.

Indeed, both processes are gaining traction. There was a notable rise in games in 2019, and certain elements of the rollout have been somewhat cumbersome at best.

As 2021 draws to a close, it appears that Illinois is making significant progress in the casino and sports betting industry.

Jim Young, AP Photo
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Boozell, Joe

Joe Boozell, who has been a college sports writer for since 2015, also had his work featured on Bleacher Report,, and During his youth, Boozell competed against Anthony Davis and Frank Kaminsky in the basketball scene of Chicagoland, which as you might guess, was quite the experience.

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