The state of Illinois’ gaming board IGB (Illinois Gaming Board) has chosen Union Gaming to verify whether Chicago is ready for land-based casinos. The bill to allow land-based casinos to be built in five suburbs across Chicago was passed in June this year. Since then, the Illinois Gaming Board has fast-tracked the process to get the ball rolling. They have tasked Union Gaming, a financial advisory firm focused on all things gambling with the job of conducting a feasibility study.
What does this mean for Chicago? Can we expect to see a relaxation of more gambling restrictions and perhaps have sports betting and online gambling legalized in Illinois?
What Union Gaming has to Examine in Illinois
The bill passed last month allows for five integrated casino resorts in Chicago. The state of Illinois up to this point was only allowing riverboat casinos. Union Gaming’s study will determine whether the City of Chicago is ready to host an integrated casino resort. Once it has gathered all its findings, they will have to present the matter to Governor Pritzker, the city mayor and other lawmakers.
Should the feasibility study end positively, that is, find that Chicago can handle a casino resort, there will have to be a careful deliberation as to where the casino is located. Ed Zotti a writer, editor and social commentator from Chicago had comments to make in relation to the bill and possible location of the casino resorts.
He advised the city not to blindly assume a casino resort will revitalize any neighborhood. According to Ed Zotti, an ill-placed casino location could well drain a neighborhood of its “vitality”. He reckons it’s prudent to place any such resorts in an entertainment amusement park like Millennium Park.
Potential Casino Operators at Chicago Casino Resorts
Wynn Resorts is expected to leap at the opportunity to operate a casino in Chicago. This may make for some fierce competition for casino operation licenses as MGM and Caesars are known for always looking for opportunities to expand. The Las Vegas Sands might sit this one out. Sands has stated they are currently not looking for an opportunity in Illinois. Keep posted on Casinous.com for more news and developments on this and other casino stories.