Capitol - Your Illinois News Radar » One step at a time
SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
One step at a time

Wednesday, Aug 14, 2019

* Tribune editorial

We’ve long contended that locating a casino in Chicago makes sense. Legal gambling tends to generate lots of tax revenue, which the city and state need. But the way Gov. J.B. Pritzker and the General Assembly have gone about structuring the expansion of casino gambling into Chicago is all wrong. They’ve set up this project to fail and likely have to rewrite their legislation.

A state-hired consultant from Las Vegas released a feasibility study Tuesday — one required by the gambling expansion law — that makes a very good case … for casino operators to avoid coming to Chicago. Taxes from gambling revenue and fees to be gobbled up by the city and state are so onerous, the study concludes, that the casino would generate very little profit, if any.

There’s actually a scenario in which, under the current legislation, the combination of taxes, fees and operating expenses “could exceed casino revenue,” the study warns.

Think about that. Illinois lawmakers, salivating over the prospect of easy money from gambling taxes, write and pass a law to allow a casino in Chicago. But they’re so greedy that the entire enterprise becomes financially untenable before it starts. Lenders wouldn’t want to finance it, and gambling companies wouldn’t want to run it.

The Tribune isn’t alone. There was plenty of hand-wringing in Chicago about the consultant’s report.

And for good reason. The consultant submitted the only valid bid because the law mandated a too-quick process. The Illinois Gaming Board, which is already stretched to the limit with other casino expansions and sports betting implementation, has 90 days to evaluate the study and make recommendations to the General Assembly about what changes need to be made, but the fall veto session starts in just 75 days.

* Not to mention that one of the most influential Illinois legislators on this topic is not yet convinced any changes need to be made

“Call me skeptical,” said state Sen. Terry Link, D-Waukegan, the chief sponsor of the bill authorizing the Chicago casino, as well as new gambling outlets in his home Lake County and other locales around the state. “They’ll have to do a lot more convincing to get me” to agree to cut the tax rates.

“All of us would like the largest profit margin we can,” added Link. Whoever builds the casino “is still going to make a lot of money.”

So now, we wait.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Three Dimensional Checkers - Wednesday, Aug 14, 19 @ 10:03 am:

    How does this impact the capital bill? I thought the state needed some of that money for capital projects, but I could be wrong.

  2. - lake county democrat - Wednesday, Aug 14, 19 @ 10:05 am:

    As someone who would love to see a casino/hotel go in the Thompson Center, if the city/state cooperated to make that happen, could -that- be profitable at the current tax rate? I don’t know how the numbers would go, I just don’t understand why, if the idea is to get revenue, you throw away the most attractive location (downtown) - even McCormick Place is a trip that will discourage many.

  3. - Just Me 2 - Wednesday, Aug 14, 19 @ 10:24 am:

    The super fast procurement tells me that this bid was cooked from the beginning. The gambling lobbyists wrote the bill so that only this consultant could be hired and — SHOCKINGLY — that consultant said there wasn’t enough profit for the lobbyists’ clients.

  4. - BigDoggie - Wednesday, Aug 14, 19 @ 12:56 pm:

    If they actually intend to build this thing on either the south or west side, kiss the potential success of this casino goodbye. That original site list had to be a ploy of some kind, right?

  5. - Roman - Wednesday, Aug 14, 19 @ 1:06 pm:

    Mark Brown really nailed this in his Sun-Times column. Due to the change in the mayoral administration, the city of Chicago really didn’t have their act together as the gaming legislation was put together and passed. This study was a way for them to buy time and come back with changes on a trailer bill during Veto Session. They want city ownership, which I don’t think they’ll ever get. Joint city-state ownership is a possibility, though.

  6. - Veil of Ignorance - Wednesday, Aug 14, 19 @ 3:00 pm:

    Would love to see a racial equity analysis of the Chicago casino idea before it’s assumed this is a net positive gain for city residents. Somebody needs to lay out the plan on how this won’t turn out to be a regressive tax.

  7. - Dotnonymous - Wednesday, Aug 14, 19 @ 4:42 pm:

    I have never seen colored people gambling. - Mama

    You had rose colored glasses on…”The Colored” were camouflaged.

    By the way…it’s almost 2020…perhaps it’s time for a vision test?

  8. - Been There - Wednesday, Aug 14, 19 @ 6:07 pm:

    I agree a 100% with Sen Link

TrackBack URI

This is not Facebook, so uncivil comments, profanity of any kind, rumors and anonymous commenters will not be tolerated and will likely result in banishment.

* Chicago casino roundup
* New laws
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Campaign updates
* Today's number: 108 percent
* Today's quotable
* Appellate Court again rules against Mautino's campaign committee
* "Chicago has more lead on average than Flint, Mich., during its 2015 water crisis"
* Where are the other probes?
* *** UPDATED x2 *** Pritzker vetoes bill that would expel students who bring B-B guns, paint ball guns, etc. to school
* As long expected, Vistra to close some Illinois coal-fired power plants
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* Yesterday's stories

Visit our advertisers...





Main Menu
Pundit rankings
Subscriber Content
Blagojevich Trial
Updated Posts

August 2019
July 2019
June 2019
May 2019
April 2019
March 2019
February 2019
January 2019
December 2018
November 2018
October 2018
September 2018
August 2018
July 2018
June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004

Blog*Spot Archives
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005


RSS Feed 2.0
Comments RSS 2.0

Hosted by MCS SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax Advertise Here Mobile Version Contact Rich Miller