Waukegan officials announced the planned public hearing on the proposed casino in the city is to take place in the Genesee Theatre. The initial intentions were to hold the hearing in the council chambers of the City Hall. It was decided to move to the bigger venue because of the high interest on behalf of the locals, Waukegan’s Mayer Sam Cunningham explained.
The Genesee Theatre is located in close proximity to the Waukegan City Hall and offers as many as 2,400 seats. Its capacity is significantly larger than that of the council chambers of the City Hall, which can seat no more than 170 people due to the building’s fire codes according to Waukegan’s spokesperson David Motley.
The public hearing is to last four hours, starting at 4 pm. Potential developers and operators will first give public presentations before the city’s consultants draw up a preliminary report on their proposals.
Waukegan citizens will be given the opportunity to express their opinions on the developers’ ideas during the hearing. Each citizen will have no more than two minutes to share their view on the proposals.
The initial idea was to allot three minutes per citizen. The plans to shorten it to two minutes were revealed around two hours after the announcement of the venue change came. The citizens can also submit their written comments electronically at the official email of the project, which is firstname.lastname@example.org. The other options are to submit written comments either in person or via the standard mail service to the City Clerk’s Office in the Waukegan City Hall.
City Hall Officials Face Five Development Plants for the Waukegan Casino
The submissions feature five separate plans for the design of the planned casino. Information released by the Waukegan officials earlier this month reveals that one of the submissions was proposed twice. The idea was for the Waukegan gaming venue to open doors as the second Illinois location of the Rivers Casino brand in Des Plaines.
The first proposal came from operator Rush Street Gaming in partnership with Churchill Downs. The second proposal was made by Waukegan Gaming LLC, which insists it has the sole rights to build a gaming hall in the city. In fact, the above-mentioned company filed a lawsuit against Waukegan after the city requested that a Lake County judge terminates a previous redevelopment agreement made in 2004.
Other development proposals vary in terms of scope. Some, like the one made by Milwaukee’s Potawatomi Casino operator, place a greater emphasis on the food options and the gambling venue itself. Others entail more intricate complexes with hotel accommodations and entertainment centers.
Such is the case with the proposal of the Nevada-based gambling developer and operator Full House Resorts. Its American Place project includes a casino, a small hotel, and an entertainment venue that would sit as many as 1,500 people.
The developers behind the North Point Casino propose a project that would combine a gambling hall, an amphitheater, and a number of restaurants during its initial phase. Casino Fontana is yet another proposed project which would spread outside the Waukegan-owned site to the surrounding perimeter of 10 acres. The members of the Waukegan City Council will refrain from making any recommendations to the Illinois gaming regulator at the public hearing.