Chicago Casino community advisory council to gather input on Bally’s project
Mayor Lori Lightfoot has announced the creation of a new advisory council to gather community input on the city’s casino plans.
US.- The city of Chicago is getting ready for its first casino, and mayor Lori Lightfoot has announced the creation of an advisory council to keep residents informed and gather community input for Bally’s project.
The Casino Community Advisory Council (CAC) will serve as a channel for community input and includes residents, and community groups and experts on a range of topics. Management and oversight of the CAC will be shared by the Department of Planning and Development, the Mayor’s Office of Community Engagement and the Department of Transportation, and the CFO’s office.
Presenting the nineteen-member council, Mayor Lightfoot said: “Since beginning the process to secure a Chicago Casino, my administration has remained dedicated to ensuring our residents have every opportunity to share their thoughts and concerns about it.”
Lightfoot added that this Community Advisory Council “will create a tangible space for this important engagement and allow community stakeholders of all kinds to have a meaningful impact before, during, and after the casino’s construction.”
The purpose of the council is to create a forum for ongoing community engagement during the development of the Bally’s Casino. The primary focus is to secure community input on the development of the permanent site. However, the Casino CAC will also consider issues related to the operation of the temporary site. It will function until the opening of the casino.
“The Community Advisory Council is going to ensure that the casino is developed with the utmost quality and addresses every concern raised by community members,” said alderman Walter Burnett. “The CAC will play a vital role in the casino’s success, and I applaud Mayor Lightfoot and the rest of her team for pulling together an incredible team.”
The group will meet quarterly to discuss the project and address issues raised by community members including issues relating to arts and entertainment, economic development and planning, social impact, housing and community development, infrastructure and transport, open space and environment, business and finance, public safety and workforce development.
Membership of the Casino CAC is subject to change through the process to address additional concerns of the community.
Bally’s plans to launch a temporary casino in the summer of 2023 and the permanent site in late 2025 or early 2026. The City Council approved the casino in a 41-7 vote in May.
The proposed $1.7bn casino at the 30-acre Chicago Tribune Publishing Center at the intersection of Chicago Avenue and Halstead Street would have 3,400 slots, 170 table games, 500 hotel rooms, six restaurants, three bars, a 3,000-seat theatre, an outdoor park, and other amenities.
In June, Bally’s Corporation paid the $40m it pledged as part of its pitch for the a $1.7bn Chicago casino, located at the Tribune Publishing site in River West. The $40m will be used to support the city’s pension costs. Bally’s will also pay the city $4m annually and projects $200m in yearly tax revenue.