A casino for River West gets Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s nod. What’s in the plan and what happens next? – Chicago Tribune


After a 30-year effort, Chicago has a casino deal on the table. Here’s a look at what the proposal includes, what is expected to happen next and when a printing plant could be replaced with a gambling palace — if nothing derails the plans.

The entertainment complex’s plans include a 500-room hotel tower, a 3,000-seat theater, an outdoor music venue and an “immense Agency exhibition experience,” a City Hall news release touted Thursday.

Other plans for the project at Chicago Avenue and Halsted Street in the River West neighborhood include an extension of the Riverwalk, an outdoor park and an “amenity terrace” featuring a large pool, spa, fitness center and sun deck.

Dining options are to include six restaurants, cafes and a food hall.

A casino for River West gets Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s nod. What’s in the plan and what happens next? – Chicago Tribune

And then there’s the gambling itself, which boasts 3,400 slots and 170 game tables.

The city says it would create thousands of construction and casino jobs. The city hopes to use resulting revenue to help fill pension-related budget holes.

The City Council approval process could be bumpy.

Some aldermen are likely to complain that they didn’t get more say in selecting the winning bidder. Others might balk due to distaste for gambling or concern about traffic.

But Lightfoot will argue that the casino makes big tax hikes less likely in the future, a message that’s likely to appeal to aldermen who dislike nothing more than property tax increases.

Ultimately, it will be up to the Illinois Gaming Board to determine whether to award a license to the developer of a Chicago casino.

After the application is submitted to the board, regulators will conduct background investigations of all the parties involved in the proposals.

The law gives the Gaming Board a year to issue a license after receiving an application, but it also allows regulators to extend that time if needed, which has been the case for the other applications currently before the board.

In Rockford, for example, Hard Rock submitted its application in October 2019, and the board didn’t grant preliminary approval until February 2021. The casino has yet to open, but it’s temporary operation was up and running by November.

Once the state gives approval for a Chicago casino, the developer would be able to operate at a temporary location, also subject to board approval, for up to two years while the permanent casino is built.

Bally’s plans to use a former Tribune Publishing warehouse once earmarked for a residential and office development as its temporary casino. Its location would be 700 W. Chicago Ave., a separate tract of land north of the 30-acre Freedom Center site.

A casino for River West gets Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s nod. What’s in the plan and what happens next? – Chicago Tribune

If approved, Bally’s aims to open the temporary casino by the second quarter of 2023.

The permanent casino is slated to open in the first quarter of 2026.


Source : https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/breaking/ct-chicago-casino-what-happens-now-ballys-20220505-zvvhggap5vhahaw2oeywlwuy6q-story.html#ed=rss_www.chicagotribune.com/arcio/rss/category/news/

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