On Wednesday, some movement toward a possible Chicago casino made a little bit of progress.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot presented five locations in either the South or West sides of the city of Chicago for this new casino proposal.
But a Chicago Tribune report stated that Chicago city officials have said that this future casino won’t “necessarily wind up at one of the five spots.”
These locations are considered “test sites” and the selections make it rather clear that Mayor Lightfoot is looking to finish her campaign promise by bring revenue to the struggling areas of the city.
“We want to be transparent,” Deputy Mayor Samir Mayekar told Chicago Business. “This is not the final list of sites. This study is designed to undertake a financial feasibility review. There will be a separate site selection process.”
Illinois hired Union Gaming Analytics, a Las Vegas-based consulting firm, to determine the economics of the Chicago casino proposal. Then they’ll deliver the discoveries to the state and city officials.
Regardless of where the final location ends up, Lightfoot is making a statement with this move, made possible when Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed a bill to legalize sports betting.
“We are moving forward to ensure the new casino is viable for Chicago and all of its communities,” Lightfoot said in a statement posted on Chicago Business.
The five locations that Lightfoot has listed are: A parcel near the Harborside golf course at 111th Street and the Bishop Ford Freeway; the former Michael Reese Hospital site at 31st Street and Cottage Grove Avenue; a location near Guaranteed Rate Field at Pershing Road and State Street; the former U.S. Steel parcel, known as South Works, between 79th and 91st streets along South Lake Shore Drive; and the lone West Side location, at Roosevelt Road and Kostner Avenue.
Lightfoot’s list did not include any downtown locations, which could be a risk in terms of potential revenue. The areas surrounding there, including the popular Navy Pier, are a hit with tourists and locals alike.
A quick look at the five proposed locations:
Meanwhile, about 150 miles south of Chicago in Danville, Mayor Ricky Williams told Fox Illinois that seven casino groups are expressing interest in building new casinos in the area.
The deadline for each casino group to submit a proposal an application to the city is July 31. Located just west of Indiana and roughly 11 minutes from the border into the closest city of Rileysburg, Danville is working its way into some revenue streaming with this move.