Wednesday, Oct 5, 2022 - Posted by Isabel Miller
* Springfield maintains its top spot in most video gambling machines in the state. NPR…
The latest report on gambling from the Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability, the fiscal gurus for the state legislature, shows the city with a total of 757 terminals in operation during the fiscal year that ended this summer. That’s an addition of more than 100 since 2019 and well ahead of second place Rockford, a larger city, which reported 537 terminals.
Springfield sites brought in $47.9 million dollars in the past fiscal year. The state took $12 million in taxes from that amount and local government received $2.4 million. That’s a rebound from when the pandemic caused revenue to drop by 42 percent.
Springfield uses the gambling revenue for infrastructure and maintenance.
Surrounding communities have also taken to video gambling. Decatur was third in the state with 522 terminals. Unincorporated Sangamon County ranked 14th with 281 terminals last year.
* The Commercial-News with an update on Danville’s casino…
With October here, the clock is ticking to get the Golden Nugget Danville Casino building closed in by Thanksgiving for construction to continue in the winter months.
On or around April 1 is the target opening date. […]
Basens also is starting to hire now. Between now and January, he’ll have 15 to 25 people working as department heads to put together operating and other plans. Some he might find locally, but many are outside the area with gaming experience.
He’s in the process of recruiting now. He thinks he’s hired a finance director and operations director, from Indiana and from the Chicago area, with 40 years of experience of casino combined.
* Channel 7…
Consultants hired by Bally’s Corp. say the gambling company’s temporary casino in the landmark Medinah Temple won’t create the River North gridlock that opponents have warned of when it opens next year, but a local alderperson vehemently against the plan dismissed their traffic study as “seriously flawed.”
The report commissioned by Bally’s - Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s pick to launch Chicago’s first casino - and released by the city Friday found the often-congested area around the temple at 600 N. Wabash Ave. “should be able to accommodate” an influx of hundreds of gamblers per day.
State regulators are still vetting Bally’s application to break ground on their permanent casino earmarked for the site now occupied by the Chicago Tribune’s printing plant at Chicago Avenue and Halsted Street, a project that could take several years to complete.
But pending state approval, city officials hope Bally’s will start churning out gambling tax revenue as soon as next summer at the temporary Medinah site, slated to have enough slot machines and table games for up to 1,100 people to play at a time.
* Neighborhood groups, alderman remain skeptical, reports Loop North…
42nd Ward Alderman Brendan Reilly, however, called the study “seriously flawed, overly vague, and clearly written for the sole purpose of concluding a casino will work at Medinah Temple.” […]
Reilly says he disagrees with assumptions made in the traffic study, saying the estimate of vehicular trips to the casino is too low, and that the study over-estimates the number of people “who will be dumb enough to take the CTA or walk to this casino with cash in their pockets.”
* Bidder tied to Mexican gaming company last applicant for Illinois online sports betting license. But it may be forced to drop out: Overcoming setbacks has been the name of the game since the state’s first sportsbook opened at Rivers Casino Des Plaines at the onset of the pandemic in March 2020, only to close within days amid statewide stay-at-home orders. In June 2020, BetRivers became the first Illinois sportsbook to offer online betting, with the state temporarily waiving an in-person registration requirement while casinos began reopening with capacity limits.
* Aurora continues discussion on fees for video gambling machines: Aurora is continuing to look at the possibility of increasing fees for video gambling machines in the city. The matter is being held at the City Council’s Finance Committee for discussion, and also is being looked at by the mayor’s office. If any change would be made, it would not be until the next round of renewals of the licenses, beginning in October 2023.
* Hard Rock breaks ground on its permanent $300M Rockford Casino: The ceremony came about a year after the opening of the temporary Rockford Casino: A Hard Rock Opening Act. Construction on the permanent facility is set to begin following the approval of the project by the Illinois Gaming Board earlier this month.