Planned Illinois Casino in Suburban Chicago Has Five Bidders

Planned Illinois Casino in Suburban Chicago Has Five Bidders
By Daniel Bettridge

Developers have finally laid their chips on the table as plans for the hotly anticipated development of a new casino in Waukegan, Illinois have been unveiled by the city.

The development, which is slated for the suburb to the far north of Chicago, is among six locations that are in line for new casinos after historic gambling expansion legislation was passed into law earlier this summer in Illinois.

5 Illinois Casino Suitors in Waukegan

In total the city received six proposals for the Waukegan site.

However, two of those are linked together, which means that there are currently five competing plans to be considered.

Each of those plans offer a snapshot of the ambitious facilities that are proposed at the site of the shuttered Fountain Square shopping center at Lakehurst Road and Northpoint Boulevard, according to a report in suburban Chicago newspaper the Daily Herald.

Games, Sportsbooks, and Helipads

The ambitious plans include everything from helipads and villas to fountains and cavernous concert halls according to a report in The Chicago Sun Times.

Though the documents released by the city are heavily redacted to protect trade secrets and financial information, they do still provide some interesting information about the proposed developments and what each of them might entail.

Some of the highlights include:

  • Churchill Downs-Rush Street Gaming - The Louisville-based gambling giant already owns one of the region’s most successful casinos in Des Plaines and wants to expand their brand to Waukegan.
  • Full House Resorts - The Vegas-based corporation submitted a staggering 402 page proposal that paints the picture of a 75,000 square foot, 1,560-position gambling facility complete with a sportsbook, gourmet restaurant and helipad.
  • Lakeside Casino LLC - The heavily-redacted 241 page proposal highlights a development that could include 2,000 gaming positions, a 5,300 square foot sportsbook and an outdoor amphitheatre.
  • Potawatomi Hotel & Casino - This development is one of the biggest submitted with a proposed 130,000 square foot facility boasting thousands of gaming stations and even its own food court.
  • Waukegan Development Associates LLC - This bid proposes a 38-acre complex complete with 1,380 gaming positions alongside a replica of a famous Italian fountain.

Next Steps in Chicago Casino Scene

The City of Waukegan says that it is “working diligently to meet the state deadlines and hold necessary public hearings prior to making its determinations” on which proposal it will forward to the State.

The Chicago Sun Times reports that officials have confirmed that they will draft up a shortlist of two or three proposals to be presented to the Illinois Gaming Board by the of October. The state-run agency then has the final say on issuing the license which is set to cost the eventual winner $15 million to secure.

Related Article: Illinois Casino in Danville Down to 2 Bidders



Daniel Bettridge has written on everything from pop culture to pro sports for publications such as The Guardian, The Times, The Atlantic and MSN. He is also a gambling enthusiast and author of three books.

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