A new report from the Illinois gaming board shows that a casino in Chicago may not be as financially feasible as initially estimated.
US.- The casino industry has been waiting for a long time to expand operations in Illinois. As the state passed a massive gambling expansion earlier this year, Chicago is now one of the cities with the permission to build a gambling facility. However, a new report is showing that it might not be as profitable as the state expected.
Union Gaming Analytics conducted an analysis that says that the high tax and fee structure in the Illinois law would make the Chicago project “generally not financially feasible.” These results would be the same regardless of where the casino is located.
After the findings, the city’s Mayor Lori Lightfoot called for a review of the law. Chicago had been expecting a casino to generate revenue for its underfunded police and firefighter retirement systems.
“While the study confirms our concerns about the tax structure that the legislature passed, we know this can be addressed. We look forward to working with the governor and legislative leaders to revise the legislation,” she said in a statement.
The analysis from Union Gaming says the law features the highest effective gaming tax and fee structure in the country. The legislation, therefore, makes it difficult to finance a Chicago casino and generate profits.
Development costs would generate 1% or 2% return annually, including licensing and other fees. The analysis says the return percentage isn’t “an acceptable rate of return for a casino developer on a greenfield project.”
Emily Bittner, spokeswoman for Governor J.B. Pritzker, said that he would review the way the state approached the casino to ensure maximum job and revenue opportunities.