Chicago has a casino deal. Are slot machines at the airports subsequent? – Chicago Tribune

The state regulation that granted Chicago a casino additionally bestowed one other nugget on its developer: the probability to put in slot machines at O’Hare and Midway airports.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s choose for the Chicago casino — a Bally’s-run leisure and playing advanced in River West — was introduced at a celebratory information convention downtown Thursday the place metropolis, labor and business leaders spoke at size about the plan’s anticipated advantages.

But metropolis officers have stated significantly much less about the prospects of bringing slot machines to Chicago’s two main airports, with representatives from each City Hall and the Chicago Department of Aviation saying solely that there are not any plans at the moment in the works.

Bally’s Chairman Soo Kim advised the Tribune, although, that he’s “very interested” in placing slot machines at the Chicago airports, calling it an “intriguing idea” that would function each a advertising software and potential enhance to the income stream.

“I think it has to be done right, in conjunction with the other concessionaires at the airport,” Kim stated. “We can put a portion of our machine count in the airport. I think that will actually sort of help announce Bally’s presence.”

Tucked in the 2019 state regulation that granted a casino license to Chicago is a provision that authorizes the metropolis’s casino developer to put in a few of its slot machine allotment at the two airports, as long as the complete variety of “gaming positions” at all places doesn’t exceed 4,000. Airport slots are additionally required to be positioned in a “secured area” that’s previous airport safety and solely accessible to folks 21 and older.

Bally’s proposal for its River West casino requires 3,400 slot machines and 170 sport tables, doubtlessly leaving room for extra slots at O’Hare and Midway.

Slot machines at the airports would put Chicago in uncommon company with Las Vegas and Reno, Nevada, which additionally supply playing at their airports. Other cities like Pittsburgh have thought-about it.

But Lightfoot’s office will not be contemplating such an endeavor at the second, a City Hall spokesperson stated, as a result of specializing in the Bally’s River West location is believed to be extra profitable.

Kim, who’s founding accomplice of New York hedge fund Standard General, the casino company’s largest shareholder, additionally stated the larger precedence proper now could be the casino proposal, an estimated $1.7 billion plan that features a lodge tower, theater, outside music venue and several other eating places.

Those plans should cross muster with the City Council and the Illinois Gaming Board and face important neighborhood resistance.

But if all goes as deliberate, Bally’s hopes to launch a short-term casino in Chicago’s Medinah Temple constructing early subsequent year and the everlasting web site in 2026.

No timetable has been put ahead for airport slots, although.

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