Illinois Gambling Revenue Tops $1 Billion | Chicago News | WTTW – WTTW News

December 15, 2021 by No Comments

Illinois is making headway on rivaling Las Vegas for opportunities to gamble. 

According to the latest figures from the Illinois Gaming Board, from January through October, Illinois has raked in more than $1 billion in gambling revenue from video gaming, sports wagering and casinos.

Still, it’s a figure less than officials had bet on two-a-half years ago, in June 2019, when a major gambling expansion law authorized six new casinos to be built.

Of the six, only one is so far operational: the Hard Rock Casino Rockford opened a temporary location in early November.

State gaming regulators moved forward Wednesday with projects that will put casinos in the suburbs, selecting a winning bid for the casino slated for Waukegan. The 2019 law also allotted a casino to the south suburbs. On Wednesday, members of the gaming board chose a proposal that will build that casino in Homewood and East Hazel Crest, rather than a competing bid which would have put it in Matteson.

Members of the gaming board didn’t reveal during the meeting how they determined which bidders won winning hands.

The only discussion amid formal action was when chair Charles Schmadeke thanked the applicants for their hard work.

“It certainly shows the quality of the work and it’s made our job not easy, but it certainly has informed our work,” he said.

For Waukegan, the board chose the proposal submitted by the publicly traded company Full House Resorts, Inc., operating as American Place, over a proposal from North Point Casino led by former state Sen. Michael Bond.

In an October presentation, Full House CEO Daniel Lee promised to bring Vegas “pizzazz” to Waukegan. He said plans call for a helipad for use by high-end gamers, though he said the goal – as in Vegas – is to make Waukegan a destination for non-gamblers as well, with features like a water fountain show in the lobby.

“It becomes an attraction you want to come and see, and it’s a non-gaming attraction that when people come into town, you will bring them here,” he said.

Heading into Wednesday’s meeting, a field of four serious bidders had already been winnowed to two finalists for the casino that the 2019 law allocated to the general south suburban region.

The winner: Wind Creek Illinois LLC, which plans to build a casino at the I-80, 294 and Halsted intersection, a site that covers parts of Homewood and East Hazel Crest, and is less than ten minutes from the Indiana border.

“Being this close to Indiana and being the only Four Diamond resort in the area, we …….



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