The Assessment of Waukegan Casino Bids Already Underway at the Illinois Gaming Board

As revealed by a spokesman of the Illinois Gaming Board, the investigations that the Waukegan City Council needs to complete into the three companies, which have been selected as frontrunners to construct a casino in the region, are underway.

The state’s gambling regulatory body has one year from the date when the would-be casino developers submitted their applications for an operating license. If the Illinois Gaming Board fails to meet that deadline, it would have to provide a written explanation to the applicants and schedule a new reasonable deadline to make a decision.

It is hard to say how long the due diligence would take, as the period depends on whether the candidates already own an operating license issued by the state authorities and, of course, on their application. The investigations could take longer than expected in case more information is required by the staff or the application is found incomplete by the investigators.

The highest money bid is not necessarily the only factor that is to be considered by the gambling watchdog. The Illinois Gaming Board is free to provide the highest bidder with an operating license for the proposed casino project, but it is set to take into consideration the complexity of the offer, including the bidder’s reputation, character, experience in the sector and, of course, its financial integrity.

However, in case the gambling regulator does not choose the applicant with the highest bid, it is required to issue a written explanation concerning its reasons.

The Potawatomi Tribe Is Suing Waukegan for Rejecting Its Casino Project Offer

As CasinoGamesPro already reported, the three companies, whose applications proceeded to the Illinois Gaming Board, are North Point Casino, Full House Resort and Rivers Casino Waukegan. Last month, the Waukegan City Council voted on the four applications, with only three of them proceeding further to the state’s gambling regulatory body.

Both Rivers Casino Waukegan and the North Point Casino have licensed gambling operations in the state, while the Full House Resort’s operations do not have any gambling ties to the state of Illinois. The company, however, operates five casino venues across the US.

As explained by the outside firm that was hired to assess the bidders for the Waukegan City Council, Johnson Consulting, the state regulator would most likely come back with a consideration of the bidders’ ranking and assess their offers.

About three weeks ago, the fourth competitor that filed an application for a Waukegan casino license, the Potawatomi Tribe, took the city to court after the City Council’s decision to leave its project behind. The lawsuit filed by the tribe argues that the consultancy firm’s report has presented inaccurate information which affected the development proposals’ ranking. The local Indian tribe claims that the city of Waukegan breached the Open Meetings Act by not allowing public comment at the meeting when the vote on the four proposals was held.

The Potawatomi Tribe is seeking to see the candidates selection process started all over again, as confirmed by its spokesman George Ermert. The next date for the court battle is scheduled for January 24th.