Casino developers have finally entered the spotlight in terms of the long-awaited Chicago casino.
At a hearing that took place on December 16th, three companies presented a total of five projects for the venue that needs to be successful in order to guarantee the city more money for local projects, including an increase in the firefighter and police pension funds. Now, the city of Chicago will have to consider five proposals from Bally’s, Hard Rock and Rivers Chicago.
Each of the companies tried to present its project as unique and at the same time promoted the advantages of the proposed establishments, including the financial profits expected to be generated by the project, new jobs, the money that would be given back to the community, as well as capitalization on what Mayor Lori Lightfoot had described as “thriving entertainment and cultural scene”.
As mentioned above, Bally’s proposed two casino sites for the project. The major proposal made by the company involves a location at the Chicago Tribune Publishing Center. Bally’s also suggested an alternate site for the casino project at a truck marshaling area situated south of McCormick Place. Rivers Chicago also unveiled two bids for the project – the first one aimed at rehabbing the Lakeside Center building at McCormick Place, while the other involved a vacant area in close proximity to the South Loop.
Last but not least, Hard Rock proposed One Central development for the casino project and explained there was a reason for its decision to roll out only one proposal – the chance for connectivity.
All Casino Projecs Promise More Money for the Area
Each of the five proposals was backed with the necessary documentary evidence for the diversity and equity front, with Jim Reynolds, a partner for Hard Rock, explaining that limited partners have limited input and stakes.
Despite the five casino projects that have now been unveiled, some local residents remain skeptical about the establishment of any version of a casino in the region. Campaigners have shared their concerns that such a project would not only affect traffic in the city but would also raise the crime rate, as well as the number of gambling addicts in the city. On the other hand, the proponents of the casino project said the construction and then the operations of the casino would create new job opportunities for local people. Developers have also promised they would prefer locals once a hiring process starts, and would make contributions to community anti-violence organizations.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot, who has been supporting the casino project, said she is looking for a high-quality hotel and entertainment venue that will make sure that the economic prosperity of Chicago exists well into the future. According to her, the establishment of such a facility will prove that the city is on the way to a strong economic recovery.
As Mayor Lightfoot has explained, she expects the city to make its decision on the proposed projects by March 31st, 2022.