Chicago Posts Solicitation for Long-Awaited Casino Project

Chicago Posts Solicitation for Long-Awaited Casino Project

Chicago city authorities have finally released the long-awaited request for proposals (RFP) for the casino license that the Windy City received as part of the state’s expanded gaming law passed a couple of years ago.

City officials announced that the RFP solicitation seeking an operator to develop a casino was released on Thursday, with an aim to see a state-of-the-art gaming property ready to operate by 2025.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot said in a statement that the city was excited to house a premier entertainment destination to provide a boost to its dynamic economy.

In the newly-released statement, Mayor Lightfoot said, “We look forward to collaborating with world-class operators to develop a premier entertainment destination that will catalyze growth in our dynamic economy, create sustainable, good-paying jobs for our workforce and bring new financial opportunities to our businesses.”

Above and beyond getting a chance to build a gaming property in America’s third-largest city, the winner of the license will also get an opportunity to place slot machines in Midway Airport well as O’Hare International Airport.

Under the given timeline, interested operators must submit their proposals by 23rd of August, 2021. The contenders will give public presentations about their proposals in the final week of September. The winner is expected to be selected and announced early next year.

The City of Chicago wants a casino resort with a state-of-the-art gaming floor equipped with slot machines and gaming tables, a hotel having no more than 500 rooms, dining establishments, bars, meeting spaces  and an entertainment venue. City officials stressed that they wanted an “architecturally significant” design capable of stimulating additional business attraction and development.

The RFP was scheduled to be released earlier this year, but some officials raised concerns about the proposed high tax rate associated with the gaming project. A subsequent revision in the tax structure led to delay in the project.

Tax revenue from the casino project will be used to generate new jobs and business opportunities, as well as to pay into the pension fund for state police officers and firefighters.

Among the potential interested casino operators are Hard Rock International, MGM Resorts International, Rush Street Gaming, and Wynn Resorts. Gaming-focused real estate investment trust MGM Growth Properties and some others are also expected to submit a response. Given the size of the casino project, Mayor Lightfoot has expressed hope that several entities with “Las Vegas addresses” will get involved.