Chicago casino plans narrowed down to three developments

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The five casino proposals on the table for Chicago have now been narrowed down to three. Mayor Lori Lightfoot passed proposals this week connected to McCormick Place and decided to extend the process of selection. It seems it will be a few more months before we know which plan is chosen for the big city gaming venue.

Narrowed Down to Three

Officials announced the plans are now narrowed down the three developments. Still in the running is the Bally’s casino at the River West site, a Hard Rock casino at the One Central project site, and the Rivers 78 project located in the South Loop.

The mayor said she wanted to announce the winner by the end of March in previous announcements. The goal was to provide a project plan so that state regulators could approve it and issue a gaming license. However, that is not going to take place.

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Officials now want until early summer and maybe even longer before they make a selection. According to the Chicago chief financial officer, Jennie Huang Bennett, the decision comes down to more input from the community.

Bennett stated that if a decision was made without more engagement from the community, she thinks that it would be difficult to hold on to transparency and community engagement which is the process with every major development in the city.

No longer in the competition is a proposal from Bally’s, involving the McCormick Place truck marshaling yards. Another proposal, one connected to Lakeside Center, is also out of the running. The McCormick Place proposals faced stiff opposition from city officials due to the venue being close to Bronzeville.

Considering the Remaining Proposals

With the announcement, Mayor Lightfoot said that the three remaining finalists fit the core goals that the city officials want to see regarding the integrated casino resort coming to Chicago, Illinois. Among the goals for the new property is to provide money for pension funds connected to the police department and firefighters.

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It has been estimated that each remaining plan would be beneficial to the city. The Bally’s Tribune project would bring over $176 million to $191 million to the city depending on how large of a hotel is constructed. The plan would see $1.8 billion spent on a huge casino, club, and sports museum.

The Hard Rock plan would bring $185 million to the city each year and costs $1.7 billion to construct. The property includes a hotel and live music facility. The Rivers 78 plan would bring from $146 million to $174 million annually. The amount is based on a hotel and observation tower being included in the development.

The three plans must now complete public meetings discussing the plans. Criticism has already surfaced involving the projects via local neighborhoods and there is no doubt that the locals will be on hand to discuss the projects at meetings set for April.

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