Three companies present five Chicago casino bids to the public

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot will choose one of the five casino proposals to pass to the Illinois Gaming Board.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot will choose one of the five casino proposals to pass to the Illinois Gaming Board.

The city of Chicago has held a public hearing for residents to learn more about the five casino proposals.

US.- Residents in Chicago got a chance to hear directly from the development teams behind the five projects vying for a Chicago’s casino licence. The public presentations that took place at the Isadore and Sadie Dorin Forum at the University of Illinois Chicago form part of the selection process that will determine a finalist to present to the Illinois Gaming Board for licensure.

The five options, which come from Bally´s (two proposals) Hard Rock, Rivers Chicago at McCormick and Rivers 78 Gaming, were submitted in a request-for-proposal process that ended in late October.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot said she wants the winner to be financially viable, architecturally stunning and be guided by the principles of inclusion and equity. “We are not going to waste this opportunity,” she said. “We are going to maximize it for the benefit of our residents to make sure that we secure our financial future.”

The Lightfoot administration estimates that a new casino will be in operation by 2025 and generate around $200m a year. The money would shore up underfunded police and fire pensions and create 2,000 to 3,000 jobs. The mayor will choose between the five proposals and then present the plan to the City Council. If the council approves it, it then goes to the State Gaming Board for its okay.

The five proposals are:

Bally´s Proposal 1: at the Chicago Tribune Publishing Center. Valued at $1.8bn, a 3,600-gaming positions casino, a 500-room high-rise hotel, 70,000 square-foot entertainment venue.

Bally´s Proposal 2: at McCormick Plack Truck Marshaling. A $1.6bn site with 500 rooms, six restaurants, three bars and lounges; a 3,000-seat, 70,000 square-foot entertainment venue; 20,000 square feet of exhibition space; outdoor-rooftop green space including bars, lounges, and pools; 3,400 slots and 173 table games.

Hard Rock Chicago: a $1.7bn property at ONE Central with up to 500 rooms, eight restaurants, six bars and lounges, a 3,500-seat Hard Rock Live, Rock Spa, Hard Rock Music and Entertainment Experience, 3,400 slots, and 166 table games.

Rivers Chicago at McCormick LLC: a $1.3bn property at Lakeside Center at McCormick Place. A 2,900-room hotel with the ability to add 250 or additional rooms; 12 restaurants, four bars, and lounges in addition to full bars at seven restaurants, a 4,200-seat theatre, convention centre, 2,600 slots, and 190 table games.

Rivers 78 Gaming LLC: In the eight-acre riverfront entertainment district at the northern end of the mixed-use 78 neighbourhood. A $2bn property with 300 rooms; eight restaurants, five bars, and lounges; riverfront plaza; observation tower with indoor-outdoor viewing space; Harbor Hall multipurpose riverfront venue for live entertainment, culture-arts and community programs with rooftop space; 2,600 slots and 190 table games.

See also: Illinois casino revenue declines in November

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