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New Illinois casino plans published

Fri, Sep 13, 3:10pm by Staff Writer

Developers have finally laid their chips on the table as plans for the hotly anticipated development of a new casino in Illinois has been unveiled by the city.

Top US Casinos reports the development, which is slated for the suburb of Waukegan to the far north of Chicago, is among six locations that are in line for new casinos after historic gambling expansion legislation passed into law earlier this summer in Illinois.

In total, the city received six proposals for the Waukegan site.

However, two of those are linked, meaning there are five plans competing to be chosen.

Each of those plans offer a snapshot of the ambitious facilities that are proposed at the site of the shuttered Fountain Square shopping centre at Lakehurst Road and Northpoint Boulevard, according to a report in suburban Chicago newspaper the Daily Herald.

The ambitious plans include everything from helipads and villas to fountains and cavernous concert halls according to a report in the Chicago Sun Times.

Though the documents released by the city are heavily redacted to protect trade secrets and financial information, they do still provide some interesting information about the proposed developments and what each of them might entail.

Some of the highlights include Churchill Downs-Rush Street Gaming, Full House Resorts and Lakeside Casino LLC.

Louisville-based gambling giant Churchill Downs-Rush Gaming already owns one of the region’s most successful casinos in Des Plaines and wants to expand their brand to Waukegan.

Full House is a Vegas-based corporation that submitted a staggering 402-page proposal that paints the picture of a 75,000 square foot, 1,5660-position gambling facility complete with sportsbook, gourmet restaurant and helipad.

The heavily redacted proposal from Lakeside Casino is 241 pages and highlights a new development that could include 2,000 gaming position, a 5,300 square foot sportsbook and an outdoor amphitheatre.

Potawatomi Hotel and Casino is another that have made a submission, with this development one of the biggest proposed, with a 130,000 square foot facility boasting thousands of gaming stations and even its own food court.

The final submission, from the Waukegan Development Associates proposes a 38-acre complex complete with 1,380 gaming positions alongside a replica of a famous Italian fountain.

The City of Waukegan says that it is “working diligently to meet the state deadlines and hold necessary public hearings prior to making its determinations on which proposal it will forward to the State.

The Chicago Sun Times has reported that officials have confirmed they will draft up a shortlist of two or three proposals to be presented to the Illinois Gaming Board by the end of October.

The state-run agency then has the final say on issuing the licence, which is set to cost the eventual winner $15 million to secure.

Illinois passes legislation in July

The Illinois legislature passed a broad funding bill that would authorise sports betting online and at the state’s casinos, racetracks and even venues such as Wrigley Field and Soldier Field.

The bill passed in July, with the Senate voting in favour of it 47-10.

The legislation stipulates sports facilities with seating capacity greater than 17,000 may apply for a mater sports wagering licence, allowing them to offer sports betting at or within a five-block radius of the venue.

The initial fee for a sports wagering licence is $10 million and is valid for four years.

The Illinois legislation prohibits betting on games involving Illinois schools.

“Today is the culmination of a tremendous amount of hard work, determination and teamwork behind a vision for entertainment and economic opportunity in Illinois,” state Republican Mike Zalewski, one of the bill’s proponents, said in a statement.

Upon Pritzker’s signature, Illinois will join more than a dozen states that have authorised sports betting since the US Supreme Court last May, struck a federal statue that had restricted state-sponsored sports betting to primarily Nevada.

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