Operators will be invited to submit proposals for a single resort gaming licence this year. City officials will be hoping that the ability to operate the only Vegas-style casino site in America’s third-largest metropolitan area will bring any number of potential suitors to the table.
“Chicago is ready to become the home of a major casino-resort which will enhance our thriving entertainment and cultural scene,” said Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot. “We’re excited to head into discussions with companies and partners who will help us develop the premier gaming and entertainment destination in our city and drive our economy in a transparent and equitable way.”
Any such site will have almost-exclusive access to 9.5m residents and more than 60m visitors per year. The prospect will have been further sweetened by the 2020 passing of Public Act 101-06481, which provides a significantly lower tax rate for the possible casino owner.
Grant Govertsen, principal, Union Gaming said: “The single Chicago licence is among the best casino-resort development opportunities right now. COVID-19 casino shutdowns, financings to bolster balance sheets, and industry teams putting development plans on ice resulted in the Chicago casino opportunity largely flying under the radar last year. Now, the combination of available capital and attractive Chicago market metrics make the opportunity prime for a Las Vegas-style integrated resort.”
The official timeline of the RFP process will be outlined in the coming weeks.