The City of Chicago has taken the first step towards getting a new casino-resort up and running by 2025. According to a recent announcement, the City has issued a request for proposals from parties interested in applying for the sole casino license in Chicago.
When she made the announcement at a recent press conference, Chicago Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot said she was excited to get the process started:
“…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.”
The opportunity is bound to be an attractive one to casino operators. Chicago is the third-largest metropolitan market in the country, with 9.5 million residents (estimated). In 2019, the city welcomed 60 million domestic visitors and another 1.5 million international ones.
The winning will bid receive a license to operate a casino in the city (temporary for 24 months before becoming permanent), but that is not all. They will also be able to install slot machines at Chicago Midway International Airport and Chicago O’Hare International Airport.
But Mayor Lightfoot also mentioned that the City wants more than just a casino. The winning bid will be responsible for constructing a casino and hotel complete with meeting spaces, restaurants, bars, and entertainment venues.
“I am not interested in building a casino for the sake of building a casino. My goal is a multi-faceted entertainment development that we can all be proud of…”
Proposals are due by August 23, 2021, at 2 PM CST. Applicants will make public presentations the following month, with the City looking to select the winning applicant in 2022 (early). If all goes well, the City is hoping the new casino-resort can open in 2025.