Up next, [Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot] said, will be a study to figure out where the casino should go. “I’m not going to get into speculation about where it should be,” Lightfoot said while talking to reporters after announcing her new picks for the Chicago School Board. “A lot of that is also going to be dictated by what we see in the results of the feasibility study. So we’ll stay tuned on that issue.”
As for the timeline, the mayor didn’t get into specifics, but she rejected a theory that it could be two or three years before Chicago has anything up and running
“No, I don’t think so,” she said. “I think we’re very purposeful and intentional about putting in very tight timelines so that we can get a feasibility study back in a short period of time. And then if we needed to make adjustments in the legislation, then we’ll be primed to do that before, during the veto session this fall.”
* I’m not sure who came up with that theory, but they should read the bill…
In addition, within 10 days after the effective date of this amendatory Act of the 101st General Assembly, the [Gaming] Board, with consent and at the expense of the City of Chicago, shall select and retain the services of a nationally recognized casino gaming feasibility consultant. Within 45 days after the effective date of this amendatory Act of the 101st General Assembly, the consultant shall prepare and deliver to the Board a study concerning the feasibility of, and the ability to finance, a casino in the City of Chicago. The feasibility study shall be delivered to the Mayor of the City of Chicago, the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives. Ninety days after receipt of the feasibility study, the Board shall make a determination, based on the results of the feasibility study, whether to recommend to the General Assembly that the terms of the license under paragraph (1) of this subsection (e-5) should be modified. The Board may begin accepting applications for the owners license under paragraph (1) of this subsection (e-5) upon the determination to issue such an owners license.
In addition, prior to the Board issuing the owners license authorized under paragraph (4) of subsection (e-5), an impact study shall be completed to determine what location in the city will provide the greater impact to the region, including the creation of jobs and the generation of tax revenue.
The licenses authorized under subsection (e-5) of this Section shall be issued within 12 months after the date the license application is submitted. If the Board does not issue the licenses within that time period, then the Board shall give a written explanation to the applicant as to why it has not reached a determination and when it reasonably expects to make a determination. […]
Effective date. This Act takes effect upon becoming law
Those aren’t absolute timelines, but the city could conceivably have something up and running more quickly than 3 years because the law also allows for a temporary location.
* Speaking of locations…
Gov. J.B. Pritzker said Monday he would prefer a newly-allowed Chicago casino be located separately from the downtown business district and away from McCormick Place.
While stressing the decision on locating the casino belongs to Mayor Lori Lightfoot and the City Council, the governor said his preference is for the casino to be put in an area that hasn’t benefited from downtown’s building boom.
Pritzker would not name potential sites, but his comments would appear to help the prospects of the old Michael Reese Hospital property at 31st Street and the lake or the former South Works property at 83rd Street and the lake. Another possibility is the Illinois International Port District land on the Southeast Side.
“I will say that we don’t want to, let’s say, compete with what I think is important about downtown, which is, you know, this is a business town, right? And McCormick Place is a business showplace, and it’s different than other places, right?” Pritzker told the Chicago Sun-Times Editorial Board.
“You go to Las Vegas for your convention and you know that the people who are coming are not really spending all their time in the show, but love to go because of all the entertainment and everything else. I think in Chicago people come here to do business, and so you want to make sure that they’re separated, let’s say,” he added.