- Chicago mayor launches poll asking residents to weigh in on the decision where to place casino
- Sites for the new resort are aimed at neighborhoods in need of economic stimulation
- Union Gaming chosen to deliver an economic feasibility study, aimed at assisting the decision
2019 is becoming a noteworthy year in terms of the United States’ embrace of the gambling industry. Just last month, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker signed an approval for expanding gambling in the state. The new legislation includes the prospect of a casino being built in Chicago. In light of that, Lori Lightfoot, mayor of the Windy City, decided to approach this matter by asking local residents. She released a survey consisting of 11 questions, in order to establish where citizens consider the new venue would serve best and what they believe are the activities that would benefit them the most.
“While a Chicago casino had been talked about for more than 30 years, today we are moving forward to ensure the new casino is viable for Chicago and all of its communities” the new mayor said. Lightfoot has been appointed mayor since April and her poll initiative is a good way to establish better dialogue with the residents, as well as for them to foster a better relationship with the casino operation.
While an economic feasibility study has also been launched and is to be considered for the final decision, for now there are five possible sites for the new casino resort.
Location, location, location
Besides establishing a space for the city’s residents to weigh in and be part of the decision regarding the site for Chicago’s casino, the prospect also entails a good deal of economic and commercial activity stimulation. That being the case, all five sites in the list right now are in areas in need of such stimuli.
In a recent statement the mayor’s office said that the new enterprise “will create thousands of jobs for the community”.
Not everyone is inclined to agree, though. Real estate experts have pointed out that if the casinos were to be placed downtown, this would serve to maximize profit and will make for the most employment, in turn. Others have referred to evidence presented by a 2015 report, conducted by Global Market Advisors, which points out that late 20th century casinos have failed to integrate in their host communities, making them islands in the urban environment, which do not stimulate growth and economy.
Combining democracy and intelligence
Nevertheless, four out of five of the sites are identified as publicly owned and have been present in previous discussions for the construction of a casino in Chicago. Public officials have stated that the five so far are just test sites.
Union Gaming Analytics has been appointed as a consultant for the proceedings in terms of determining the new casino site. The LA-based company is to conduct a report on what kind of investors would the new legislation attract, as well as to help determine how the different locations will affect the development of the casino. The report is to be prepared by the 12th of August, followed by 90 days for the Gaming Board to review and discuss changes. In any case, it certainly seems like the long discussed Chicago casino is about to become reality.