What to know about the bids, from the locations to the possible roadblocks – Chicago Tribune

Chicago is one step nearer to a possible massive income increase and reaching a objective that has eluded native mayors for many years: its first on line casino.

Still, the project can have to clear main hurdles as Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s administration kinds by the proposals — which have been whittled down from 5 to three — and picks a winner.

The three remaining bids superior by the metropolis might signify the path of least resistance for a Chicago on line casino. But none has landed with out some objections or issues, which the metropolis might have to confront earlier than it narrows the group down to a single favored plan, which officers mentioned will probably be by early summer season. It would nonetheless want to win state approval.

A Chicago on line casino research in summer season 2019 pointed to the deserves of a downtown location shut to resorts and different sights, as an alternative of in outlying neighborhoods that out-of-towners with money to spend would possibly deem unsafe. But the identical research additionally argued that the project might fail to appeal to builders as a result of the unique tax structure lawmakers authorised was “very onerous” and would have left razor-thin revenue margins for the potential proprietor.

Lightfoot plans to choose the operator and site of a Chicago on line casino in “early 2022,” officers mentioned.

Here’s what you want to know about the complete course of, from the bids to their locations.

The rejected proposals for what is anticipated to be Illinois’ largest playing institution embrace a $1.3 billion Rivers Chicago McCormick bid to redevelop Lakeside Center, which builders touted as a possibility to repurpose and renovate the 50-year-old steel-and-glass exhibition corridor. McCormick Place mentioned it has 235 occasions scheduled there that would not be rescheduled with no alternative.

The metropolis additionally turned down Bally’s proposal for a $1.6 billion on line casino at the McCormick Place Truck Marshaling Yards, a 28-acre freight staging space at thirty first Street and Jean Baptiste Point DuSable Lake Shore Drive. The proposed website not solely confronted opposition from close by Bronzeville residents, however was additionally dedicated to one other developer by McCormick Place till 2023.

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The metropolis, which is banking on a on line casino to generate $200 million in annual tax income to plug its public pension funding holes, plans to submit its alternative to the Illinois Gaming Board for approval in time to embrace upfront funds from the profitable bidder in the 2023 fiscal finances this fall, mentioned Ald. Tom Tunney, forty fourth, chairman of the the Special Committee on the Chicago Casino.

“We would like to be able to, hopefully, within the next month, get narrowed down to one and then obviously go through this process with the nominee,” Tunney mentioned April 25.

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If Rivers 78 will get the nod as the Chicago on line casino, builders plan to launch the short-term facility in an old-school vessel: a renovated riverboat docked at the South Loop website alongside the Chicago River.

The riverboat, which holds about 1,000 gaming positions, may very well be up and working inside six months of approval, offering a short lived “mini-Rivers” on line casino on the river whereas the everlasting facility is constructed, Tim Drehkoff, the new CEO of Rush Street Gaming, mentioned throughout a neighborhood engagement meeting April 7.

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Bally’s plans to use a former Tribune Publishing warehouse as soon as earmarked for a residential and office growth as its short-term on line casino whereas Freedom Center is demolished and the everlasting facility is constructed.

That was maybe the greatest takeaway as Bally’s met with tons of of skeptical River West neighbors inside the vacant 120,000-square-foot constructing April 6 to pitch a proposed $1.74 billion on line casino, resort and leisure complicated that might supplant the close by Freedom Center printing plant, if authorised as the Chicago on line casino.

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“Big changes can be made,” mentioned Curt Bailey, president of Related Midwest, the developer behind the proposed Rivers 78 on line casino in the South Loop. “We want to be great neighbors and want the neighbors to want to be around us.”

The effort to win over neighbors and the mayor’s office earlier than the metropolis’s anticipated early summer season determination to ahead a proposal to the Illinois Gaming Board for remaining approval has already led to some adjustments.

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As Chicago nears a choice on a profitable on line casino bid, there’s a lot at stake for the metropolis, which might increase its monetary fortunes and assist plug its public pension funding holes with upward of $150 million in annual on line casino tax income, in accordance to projections.

But with three of the 5 proposals planning to use the McCormick Place campus, there could also be a wild card in the works. McCormick Place has but to strike a cope with the metropolis or the builders, and is one thing lower than all in on repurposing any of its conference heart services as a on line casino.

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City officers are sifting by the bids, together with one from Hard Rock International that might set the playing emporium in a large mixed-use project, One Central, which builders hope to build over practice tracks west of Soldier Field. City Hall workers members are tasked with recommending to the mayor which on line casino plan she ought to current to aldermen for approval.

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