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Gaming expansion roundup

Monday, Jul 8, 2019

* Joe Bustos at the Belleville News-Democrats has the most thorough deep-dives into the new gaming laws that I have yet seen

Just because Gov. J.B. Pritzker has signed a massive gaming expansion into law, it doesn’t mean people can wager on St. Louis Cardinals games right away.

The Illinois’ gaming expansion is one of the ways the state will help pay for the $45 billion Rebuild Illinois capital bill and is planned to go toward projects at state facilities. The gaming expansion legalized sports betting, authorized up to six new casinos, including one in Williamson County, casino-like gaming at horse racetracks, and more video gaming in restaurants, taverns, fraternal organizations and truck stops.

But the gaming board still needs to set up rules for sports betting, review the eventual applications for gaming licenses for the six new casinos and racinos, and oversee the addition of more video gaming terminals.

When the state legalized video gaming terminals as part of the 2009 Illinois Jobs Now! capital plan, it took three years for the machines to get up and running.

Read the whole thing if this topic interests you.

* Metropolis’ casino just plugs away without much notice. The Danville Commercial-News talks with that town’s mayor to see what might be ahead for its own area

Having casino revenue flow into the city has been a big impact on the southern Illinois City of Metropolis for the past few decades. Danville officials hope to see the same thing here with a casino within a couple years.

When a casino first came to Metropolis in the 1990s, the city of about 7,000 people received about $7 million annually in revenue.

“It was a big deal,” Mayor Billy McDaniel said.

“We were able to do a lot of infrastructure and things like that that we actually paid in cash. We built a new fire station and police station, remodeled our library, redid a substation …,” McDaniel said, adding that they also paved and widened roadways, paved alleys and completed several other projects over the years. They also had scholarships for local high school students.

McDaniel said he’s not criticizing past use of the money, but he said some also was spent foolishly.

* Allowing racetracks to create “racinos” has been a goal for years, but Crain’s looks at whether Arlington Racecourse will be much of a player

With the looming super-saturation of the Chicago-area casino business, one theory is that Churchill Downs will opt to focus on its Rivers Casino stake, a pure-play gambling option, and one that comes with Rivers co-founder and Chicago real estate magnate Neil Bluhm, whom Carstanjen, 51, has said he values for his local political savvy.

Under the lawyer and GE Commercial Finance alum, Churchill Downs has morphed into a casino company with 11,000 slots and “video lottery terminals,” 200 gaming tables and, yes, a few racetracks. Its stock has quadrupled from a five-year low.

Rivers Casino alone generated $442 million in revenue last year—50 percent more than racing did for Churchill. Less than 30 percent of Churchill Downs’ 2018 revenue of $1.01 billion was directly related to racing, compared with more than 40 percent attributable to casino operations. (The remainder was largely due to online betting.)

Meanwhile, Arlington’s revenue declined $2.2 million last year, to $61.7 million, a sample of horse-racing industry challenges. While casinos cut into the betting “handle”—down nearly 40 percent, to $11 billion industrywide, since 2002—a surge in on-track fatalities threatens an existential crisis.

* The new law imposed an ambitious schedule on cities like Rockford

The city of Rockford released a Request for Proposals regarding casino expansion on Wednesday.

The document​ offers details on the city’s background, potential project sites and a timetable for casino completion. […]

    July 25: Last day for interested proposers to submit written questions
    August 1: Responses to questions distributed via addendum and on the City’s website
    Aug. 16: Request for Proposals responses due by 2 p.m.
    Aug. 19-Sept. 13: City follow-up questions to proposers, evaluation
    September 16: Evaluation team submits recommendations to City Council
    Sept. 23: Public Hearing
    By Sept. 30: City Council certifies proposers
    Before Oct. 25: Applications filed with Illinois Gaming Board

The RFP is here.

* Waukegan coverage

Waukegan’s request for proposals asks potential developers to detail their ideas for where the new casino could go and what it would be like, requiring such details as the number and types of gaming positions, the plan for including sports betting, the physical layout of the space, parking plans, and a description of associated facilities like restaurants, hotel, convention center, and retail or entertainment options.

Applicants were given a deadline of 3 p.m. on July 22 to submit their concepts.

Cunningham has repeatedly pointed to a site at the Fountain Square shopping complex off routes 43 and 120 as a future home for a casino, the documentation released Wednesday also identifies other city-owned sites in the downtown or near the lakefront.

* The schedule is also tight for Chicago

The Illinois Gaming Board has been given until Monday to hire a private consultant to conduct a casino feasibility study. The consultant then has just 45 days to come back with study results. Then the city has just 90 days to propose any necessary changes in the law through a “trailer” bill in Springfield.

* Related…

* Surge expected by Illinois gambling addiction program

* Governor visits Walker’s Bluff to talk about gambling expansion

* Gambling Bill Approval Gets Southern Illinois a New $300m Casino Resort: The projections for the development cost of the casino resort appear to be in the region of $300m. The project will see 330 rooms built and hundreds of new jobs created. Governor Pritzker is confident that the new legislation will be a massive help to the state

* Moran: Waukegan’s request for casino bids includes different location concepts, possible ‘temporary’ facility

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Former State Worker - Monday, Jul 8, 19 @ 10:17 am:

    Have any potential locations for the Chicago casino been announced or are we too early in the process for that?

  2. - Honeybear - Monday, Jul 8, 19 @ 10:26 am:

    I grew up in Oklahoma with a lot of Cherokee, Creek, and Chocktaw kids. These kids were mostly poor and had poor healthcare. After I graduated they changed the laws and allowed Indian tribes to have gambling on native owned land. Now the kids of those friends of mine have top rate healthcare. Those tribes are doing REALLY well as far as I know.
    Casino’s and gambling can make a huge difference.
    But it really depends on
    What you do with the profits.

  3. - Candy Dogood - Monday, Jul 8, 19 @ 11:14 am:

    I like how everyone consistently ignores the magnitudes of research that consistently show that gambling and gaming related revenues are net social negatives. Especially so when the profits are directed out of the community.

    Not intending to rebuff Honeybear — the tribes own the casinos and direct their gains to benefit their tribe. The over all impact on society as a whole is a net social negative.

    But — at least this expansion comes with the same package of economic bills as a plan change our tax base.

  4. - Annonin' - Monday, Jul 8, 19 @ 1:09 pm:

    Mr/Ms Candy DoGood
    just about everyone and everything has a social impact. Just read about soil run off creating a dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico that is served by the stuff that runs into the IL River and onto the Gulf.

  5. - Blue Dog Dem - Monday, Jul 8, 19 @ 1:35 pm:

    I will take bets on how long Metropolis’ casino is in operation after Walkers Bluff opens.

  6. - thechampaignlife - Monday, Jul 8, 19 @ 2:18 pm:

    Danville is putting the casino right at the Indiana border. They are missing out on an opportunity to put it near their North-end business district where it would draw significantly more shopping, eating, playing, etc. They also have an underused location with a view right on the lake with great views just begging for a conference center/wedding venue that an attached casino would help support.

    But, nah, put it as far as possible away from town so no one ever has to actually visit.

  7. - Former State Worker - Monday, Jul 8, 19 @ 2:56 pm:

    =I will take bets on how long Metropolis’ casino is in operation after Walkers Bluff opens.=

    It’ll be fine. A lot of the people I talked to when I went there were from Nashville. They told me that they went to the one in Metropolis because it is the closest casino to Nashville.

  8. - Former State Worker - Monday, Jul 8, 19 @ 3:00 pm:

    =But, nah, put it as far as possible away from town so no one ever has to actually visit.=

    Sounds like the Danville way of doing things. Whenever I traveled there for business I always stayed at one of those hotels that are right by the Indiana border and really not that close to the rest of the town.

    They are so close to Indiana that my phone would always switch over to EST.

  9. - Blue Dog Dem - Monday, Jul 8, 19 @ 5:07 pm:

    56 miles from metropolis to carterville. Will a new casino create more gamblers are will gamblers split their trips.

  10. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Jul 9, 19 @ 8:55 pm:

    Not one politician-state or federal-can provide the enumerated powers in our U.S. Constitution for the existence of U.S.C. Title 25-INDIANS. This whole “Indian issue” is a fraud upon our U.S. Constitution

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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