Rosemont to receive $2.8m from backers of failed casino

The village of Rosemont will receive a $2.8m payout from the backers of the failed Emerald Casino.
The village of Rosemont will receive a $2.8m payout from the backers of the failed Emerald Casino.

The payout will bring to an end an 18-year legal dispute after the revocation of the Emerald Casino’s licence in 2001.

US.- The village of Rosemont in Chicagoland, Illinois, is to receive a $2.8m payout from the backers of the failed Emerald Casino, resolving an 18-year legal dispute.

Rosemont was seeking up to $45m to cover expenses incurred during the construction of an 8,500-space car park and nearby land it owned that had been designated for the casino.

After spending $10m in legal fees, Rosemont was reimbursed with $2.8m, despite the Mayor’s argument that the village’s total loss due to the failed casino project “far surpassed $50 million”.

Mayor Brad Stephens said: “We were in a negative position cash-wise. But we have a parking garage as an asset. We were never going to recoup the legal fees, but it’s better than getting nothing. We were handed lemons and made some pretty tasty lemonade.”

The Emerald Casino was once a promising plan for the local area, with projected annual revenues of $400m and tax revenues of $6.4m for the first 10 years.

But in 2001, the Illinois Gaming Board (IGB) revoked the casino developer’s licence after finding it had repeatedly lied about its ownership structure.

In 2014, a federal judge ruled that six former Emerald backers owed various entities involved in the project a total of $272m due to individual compliance failures that had led to the loss of the licence.

Since then, Illinois has launched a successful sports betting market which has boosted tax revenues in the state.

Plans for the development of casinos in Waukegan, the south suburbs, Rockford and Williamson County, are being discussed but regulators have delayed a decision due to a backlog of work caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.