5 Chicago Casino Developers Make Public Presentations

Casino developers are showing their cards in the Chicago Long Game Thursday to open the gaming mecca in major cities.

Bidders will present five separate proposals to the UIC Dorin Forum in the first round of public presentations hosted by Mayor Lori Lightfoot, which aims to choose a winner by early next year.

While there are five proposals, the casino race boils down to three main bidders vying to land the casino which is expected to ultimately bring in around $ 1 billion a year.

Billionaire Neil Bluhm and his company Rush Street Gaming are behind two proposals, against two other offers from Bally’s Corporation, based in Rhode Island, and one more from Hard Rock.

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Two of the deals envision the casino at or near McCormick Place. Two more are looking to hit the dirt in the South Loop, including one across from Soldier Field. Another aims to cash near Goose Island. All of them offer optimistic income projections for a city desperate to consolidate its depleted pension funds for police and firefighters.

“They’re gorgeous and say a lot of things that I think really speak to our values, but as you all know: the devil is in the details, and my finance team is going to do a deep clean. Lightfoot said before the presentations started.

A city review committee will make a recommendation to Lightfoot, which has the final say on the proposal that will go to the Chicago Planning Commission and city council for approval. The chosen developer should then apply for a license from the Illinois Gaming Board. Lightfoot has said she wants the casino to be up and running by 2025.

Here’s a quick rundown of the deals in the order of their presentations, which started at 1 p.m. and are expected to run until late into the evening. Each will have 45 minutes to present and then answer questions from the audience.

Chicago Rivers to McCormick

Artist’s impression of the Rivers Chicago project in McCormick.

The $ 1.3 billion proposal is supported by Bluhm, Farpoint Development, McLaurin Development and the nonprofit Chicago Neighborhood Initiatives. Their plan calls for a renovation of the rarely used Lakeside Center at McCormick Place and could be up and running within a year because the infrastructure is already in place, they say.

Hard rock

Artist's impression of the proposed Hard Rock Casino near Soldier Field.

Artist’s impression of the proposed Hard Rock Casino near Soldier Field.

The Florida giant game company’s $ 1.7 billion offer is said to be located in the proposed One Central project on the Metra tracks near Soldier Field. The overall proposal is based on $ 6.5 billion in public funding that has not been approved, but Hard Rock says its site would generate an additional $ 70 million in revenue.

Rivers 78

Artist's impression of the Rivers 78 casino project.

Artist’s impression of the Rivers 78 casino offered in the south loop.

This $ 2 billion proposal from Bluhm and related mega-developer Related Midwest targets the north end of “78,” a vacant 62-acre parcel near Roosevelt Road and Clark Street in the South Loop. Its 450,000-square-foot casino and 1,000-foot observation tower would coexist with a technology research center that is also planned for the site, according to the developers.

Bally’s Tribune

Artist's impression of the Bally's casino project in River West.

Artist’s impression of the Bally’s casino project in River West.

The $ 1.8 billion project would be inaugurated at the Freedom Center of the Chicago Tribune at 777 W. Chicago Ave. in River West, with a two-phase plan that includes a “Second City” club and a Chicago sports museum. The company noted that it was “conflict-free” with no other interests in gambling in the Chicago area – a blow to Bluhm, who already runs Rivers Casino in Des Plaines, the nation’s most lucrative gambling temple. Illinois.

Bally’s McCormick

Artist's impression of proposed Bally's Casino near McCormick Place.

Artist’s impression of proposed Bally’s Casino near McCormick Place.

The company’s second offering includes most of the same amenities for the same price at McCormick Place truck yards near 31st Street and DuSable Lake Shore Drive. Ald. Sophia King (4th) has long been staunchly opposed to opening a casino at the site, but Bally’s has said she will double her ‘upfront incentive payment’ to the city to $ 50 million if she gets the license here. .

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