Just last month, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker put into law a $45 billion capital plan that features legalized sports gambling.
The deal ultimately will mean that bettors will be able to legally make wagers on sports at racetracks, sports stadiums and arenas and casinos. Furthermore, there could be online sports betting options available by next year.
Now, the clock is ticking for a casino plan to be used for this new revenue venture.
The Illinois Gaming Board must soon pick and hire a private consultant to run a feasibility study on a probable casino in the Chicagoland area. The private consultant would be tasked to find out exactly how much sports betting revenue Chicago would produce.
After that, the Illinois Gaming Board will wait a 45-day period for this private consultant to bring the results of the study to the Chicago area. By November, the fall legislative session in Chicago can ask for any changes so a Chicago casino licensing process can go through.
This has been something that has been in the works for nearly 20 years, especially from Democratic Sen. Terry Link, who has been pushing for sports gambling in casinos. However, this could be something that takes a short period of time or a few years as the legal process awaits and survey is looked over.
Link told the Chicago Sun-Times:
"It could happen fairly quickly. If all goes according to plan, you could see gambling at a temporary site in less than a year. I don’t see why there would be any complaints. Chicago will be making a good profit off of it as it’s written."
Revenue is something that no one can complain about and Link thinks the project should be a welcomed addition to the state of Illinois as a whole.
On July 1, Mayor Lori Lightfoot stood alongside Gov. Pritzker pushing the $45 billion capital bill. Lightfoot said she wants the casino in Chicago to launch “as soon as possible.”
“Obviously we’ll be involved in the process,” Lightfoot told the Chicago Sun-Times regarding the survey. “I’m hoping we can get it done relatively soon, so we can start the process.”
Another question that remains is the location of this new casino; that process could affect the entire timeline. The cities of Rockford and Waukegan have casino sites in place and will likely bring their proposals to the Illinois Gaming Board by the end of October, Link told the Sun-Times.
Even if the Chicago-based casino is behind those cities, it will most likely triumph as the leader with its key location and ability to draw in a lot of customers.
The potential revenue to be had with Chicago sports betting means there are endless reasons why Pritzker, Link and Lightfoot are all pushing this casino launch.