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Chicago is planning to introduce a large-scale “major” casino resort, with Mayor Lori Lightfoot announcing that a request for proposal will be released in the early stages of next month.
The city claims that the sole gaming owner’s licence would bring a major entertainment venue “to the heart of one of America’s most dynamic cities,” a “initiative decades in the making.”
The casino developer will be granted prospects in gaming and hospitality, including the prospect of launching a fully developed resort with everything from a hotel tower, bars, and spa services to parking systems and entertainment venues.
The permit guarantees that the holder can own and run a temporary casino for up to 36 months, and then a permanent location after that, with the goal of providing new job options for locals and generating economic development for local businesses and the community as a whole.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said: “Chicago is ready to become the home of a major casino resort which will enhance our thriving entertainment and cultural scene.
“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.”
Improvements to Chicago O’Hare International Airport in 2028
The proposal will also be able to harness big improvements coming to Chicago O’Hare International Airport in 2028, with the aim of introducing a “catalyst to generate new revenue and boost Chicago’s booming tourism industry.”
With over 9.5 million people, it has been called a “once-in-a-generation opportunity for gaming operators.” The prosperous group will be operating in the country’s third largest metropolitan area and the largest in the Midwest.
Best casino-resort development opportunities
Union Gaming’s principal, Grant Govertsen, commented: “The single Chicago license 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.”