Some industry players have considered the establishment of a Chicago casino as a risky investment.
Reportedly, casino companies that have been used to having an advantage in the market, are not sure whether investing in a project for the request-for-proposal phase to build a luxurious gambling complex in Chicago would provide them with one.
Late in 2020, four large gambling operators have shared they were interested in unveiling a casino project in the city but since then, two of them have remained quiet about the plans. A third company, which was interested in participating in the bidding process for a Chicago casino – Rush Street Gaming – has revealed that it is still considering its response to the opportunity offered by the local authorities.
Apart from that, the administration of Mayor Lori Lightfoot could hear the offers of other operators, including real estate developers. However, according to reports, industry analysts have remained skeptical about the ambitious plan that could bring a $1-billion investment to the city of Chicago. Some experts believe there is little potential for the city to see an expansion of traditional gambling and the risks associated with the process of establishment of a casino and entertainment resort are just too great.
Chicago Casino Remains Controversial Issue Although City Officials Bet on the Investment
The CEO of MGM Resorts International, Bill Hornbuckle, has shared that the requirements of Chicago authorities for the potential casino project are just too complicated. In 2020, the company shared it was interested in a potential casino establishment in the city. A spokesperson of another gambling operator that has been interested in Chicago – Wynn Resorts – said the company has decided not to pursue further participation in the city’s request for proposals.
Critics of the Chicago casino project have shared there would probably be some obstacles, such as a prohibitive tax rate. According to them a recent proposal under which sports betting could be allowed at city stadiums could also cause competition that would be found unwanted by the mega-casino.
According to the president of the consulting firm and newsletter publisher Gaming USA, Alan Woinski, sportsbooks do not account for a large portion of casinos’ revenue but do attract visitors to the gambling venues. So, if the action takes place elsewhere, people would have one less reason to visit the casino. On the other hand, Mr. Woinski shared other cities have had mixed results when it comes to such casino venues, especially if the resort offers other entertainment options as well.
An August 23rd deadline has been set by the City Hall for responses to its casino call, with proposed sites for the venue also set to be unveiled at the time. Mayor Lori Lightfoot has previously refused to share her preferences for a location to host the casino project but the parameters that were established by the city authorities would suggest somewhere in the downtown part of Chicago, which would make the site convenient for both local residents and visitors of the city.
Another important objective that needs to be covered by the companies, which take part in the request-for-proposal phase, is to come up with a proposal of superb quality and top-notch architecturally significant design.