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Chicago Begins RFP Course of for Downtown On line casino Resort
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Chicago Begins RFP Course of for Downtown On line casino Resort

Downtown Chicago skyline

An RFP course of for a downtown Chicago on line casino begins Thursday, with the chosen operator anticipated to open the resort in 2025. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Plans set in movement

Regardless of representing the third-largest metropolitan space within the US, Chicago will not be at the moment residence to a brick-and-mortar on line casino. Mayor Lori Lightfoot and different metropolis officers are planning to vary that with a brand new downtown resort growth.

chosen firm will assemble a resort at a Chicago location of their alternative

The method for choosing an operator for the on line casino growth begins Thursday. The town is publishing a request for proposals (RFP) on its web site, with submissions accepted till August 23. The chosen firm will later assemble the Chicago resort at a location of their alternative.

The resort itself will embody a on line casino, as much as 500 resort rooms, conference area, eating places, bars, and leisure venues. Apart from this, would-be operators have free rein to offer their imaginative and prescient for the situation and its amenities by means of the RFP course of.

Mayor Lightfoot’s chosen plan will go to the Metropolis Council and playing regulator for approval. After a collection of negotiations, the town plans to award the contract by early subsequent yr, with the everlasting on line casino opening date at the moment set for 2025.

Lightfoot’s vegas-style imaginative and prescient

Lightfoot is bullish about her plans for the town’s on line casino undertaking. Talking throughout a digital press convention on Tuesday, the mayor stated she expects excessive ranges of curiosity amongst on line casino operators, urging them to make use of innovation and creativity of their proposals.

We wish to make it possible for who we associate with is severe about Chicago”

“It’s not simply constructing a field however constructing an actual world-class leisure vacation spot,” Mayor Lightfoot defined. “We wish to make it possible for who we associate with is severe about Chicago and understands the distinctive alternatives which might be right here.”

Lightfoot has beforehand famous the town’s excessive potential for on line casino playing, boasting a inhabitants of 9.5 million and substantial numbers of home and worldwide journey. Because of this, she has expressed hope that Las Vegas-based gaming brands might respond to the RFP, telling reporters final month she could be “very excited” if sure operators utilized.

Aligning with Lightfoot’s imaginative and prescient, the event has already generated curiosity amongst high-profile on line casino firms. MGM Resorts Worldwide, Wynn Resorts, and Onerous Rock Worldwide all responded throughout a request for information process last year. Different events included Rush Road Gaming, Chicago Neighborhood Initiatives, and Associated Midwest.

What’s on supply?

Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker authorized Chicago’s on line casino resort growth in June 2019 as a part of a $45bn infrastructure plan. The initiative, named Rebuild Illinois, paved the best way for Chicago to construct one downtown on line casino resort, along with 5 on line casino properties in its suburbs.

the chosen operator can supply as much as a complete of 4,000 video games

The plan additionally permits Chicago’s on line casino resort operator to arrange slot machine gaming at Chicago Halfway Worldwide Airport and Chicago O’Hare Worldwide – the town’s two main airports. Mixed between the three places, the chosen operator can supply as much as a complete of 4,000 video games, together with slot machines and desk video games.

Moreover, the chosen license holder can function a brief on line casino for as much as 24 months previous to the on line casino opening, with the choice for an extra 12-month extension after this level. This may enable the operator to earn revenue whereas the venue remains to be beneath building.

The RFP necessities

Chicago has revealed quite a few necessities for potential licensees, partly centered on the resort’s financial profit to the town and its residents. The event should create jobs and generate tax income for the town, with these funds going in direction of police and fireplace division pensions. 

After the Illinois legislature’s approval of Senate Invoice 516 final yr, the state’s casinos at the moment are topic to a tax fee of 40%. Beforehand, Illinois had the best gaming tax within the US at 72%.

The license holder should additionally help Chicago-based companies, significantly these owned by minorities and ladies. The necessities embody 26% minority enterprise enterprise participation and 6% ladies enterprise enterprise participation. The operator should additionally rent Chicago companies to assist with the design and building of the undertaking.

Lastly, the resort itself should combine into Chicago’s current panorama, with Mayor Lightfoot set to evaluate location ideas in the course of the RFP course of. In line with the Las Vegas Evaluate-Journal, potential areas embody the Lake Michigan waterfront, plus sports activities situated close to the Chicago Bears’ Soldier Area stadium and near the McCormick Place conference middle.

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