Here Are The Likely Contenders For Chicago's Coveted Casino License
The deadline for the Chicago casino proposal has been extended to October 1st. Last year, only four casino operators responded to the request for information. The official list of companies that have submitted proposals is not yet available. Expert analysis has created a list with potential candidates. The opening of the casino is scheduled for 2025. There are other casinos in Illinois, but they are mostly riverboat casinos or Video Gaming Terminals.
The names we know are not in contention for the Chicago casino license.
MGM Resorts International is not interested in Chicago's casino license. The 40% tax rate and the red tape are a turn-off.
Wynn Resorts took a similar position to MGM and decided not to participate in the RFP with no further comment. The operator's focus appears to be set on its Las Vegas, Boston, and Macau properties.
Caesars Entertainment pulled its name from contention during its Q2 earnings call.
Caesars CEO Tom Reeg told investors that the company might be considering investing in digital technologies. Alan Woinski, president of the consulting firm Gaming USA, said that casinos in Illinois have been in a downward spiral for a decade except for Rivers.
There are two companies who are interested in operating a Chicago casino.
Hard Rock Florida was one of four companies to respond to Chicago's RFI. Seminole Tribe is in an interesting position to expand its gambling empire. The company might have its hands full with several lawsuits down in Florida.
Rush Street Gaming is expected to submit a proposal to the city of Chicago. The company owns Rivers Casinos – Des Plaines by O'Hare International Airport. Chairman Neil Bluhm's daughter Leslie is law school friends with Mayor Lightfoot. Leslie and her sister Meridith Blahm-Wolf contributed $212,500 to Lightford's 2019 mayoral campaign.
The dark horse operator is considered the most likely candidate to submit a proposal for Chicago's Coveted Casino License.
Chicago is looking for a casino license. Penn National spent $2 billion to buy Score Media. It's unlikely that they would be willing to pay that much for the license in Chicago.
Legislation passed in 2019 legalizing IL sports betting across the state and at the four sports arenas in Chicago. Chicago's ambitious plan calls for a 500-room hotel and entertainment district. The deadline has been pushed to October. A winner might not be chosen till mid to late 2022. The winning operator would have a 3-year window to transform an area in the Chicago into a new entertainment area.