Chicago’s mayor Lori Lightfoot recently announced that the city is officially accepting proposals for a resort including a casino, hotel, and bars to be built downtown. Currently, the city of Chicago is without a casino, and those living in the city have to travel to surrounding towns in Illinois to enjoy the thrill of casino gaming. According to the mayor’s announcement, the city is looking for a world-class resort that will boost tourism to the city and help the city’s finances.
Developers looking to build Chicago’s first casino will need to submit their plans, and the winning project will be announced in 2022. The plan must include a full resort including hotels with 500 rooms, and the casino itself will be able to offer up to 4,000 gaming positions, whether that’s at slot machines or casino tables. It will also give the developer permission to run slot machines at both of Chicago’s airports.
Chicago’s plan is that the project will be completed by 2025, but in the meantime, the developer will be able to open a temporary casino for up to two years within the city. This will allow Chicago to gain gambling revenue before the project is fully finished and also acts as an incentive to the developer.
How a Casino Can Help Chicago
Casinos bring in big tourism revenue for places like Las Vegas and Atlantic City, and the leaders of Chicago hope that a similar project will bring business and tourism to the city. The casino will need to be licensed by the state and Chicago regulators, and this will ensure the city receives significant tax revenue. Data analytics based on other casinos have shown that the Chicago casino resort could bring in up to $1 billion in tax revenue annually, something that will be an enormous benefit to the city.
It’s believed that there is currently a large appetite in Chicago for casino gambling, and as well as bringing in tourists, the casino will no doubt be popular with a lot of local residents. Not only that, but the casino will also create thousands of jobs for locals, in construction, hospitality, and other areas. Not only that, but a large project such as this will n doubt help to boost existing businesses in the area, including hotels and restaurants.
Chicago’s Chief Financial Officer, Julie Bennet explained just how important a casino could be in boosting the economy of the city. “It’s not just about the gaming revenues anymore. It’s also a combination of food and beverage as well as other amenities.”
While the casino can no doubt bring benefits to the city, there are plenty of competing casinos and their slots in the surrounding area that may affect the city’s plans. Chicago’s south suburbs are currently in the process of building a new casino. On top of this, the surrounding states of Wisconsin and Indiana are developing new sites for casino resorts.
Gary Indiana has just opened up a $300 million Hard Rock Casino, only 30 miles away from Chicago. A 90-minute drive from Chicago, the Wisconsin Governor recently approved plans for a Ho-Chunk Nation resort casino featuring 300 hotel rooms plus an indoor waterpark. It’s clear that despite Chicago’s plans for casino development, they’ll have to make sure the project has a lot to offer if it’s to bring in a substantial number of tourists.