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Gaming roundup

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.”

* More…

    * 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.

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  1. - OneMan - Wednesday, Oct 5, 22 @ 12:07 pm:

    == 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. ==

    He thinks? Seems like he should have some more confidence in that.

  2. - Homebody - Wednesday, Oct 5, 22 @ 12:22 pm:

    The solution to River North traffic is to discourage personal car use and aggressively improve the CTA. The problem with traffic is cars, not people.

  3. - Rudy’s teeth - Wednesday, Oct 5, 22 @ 12:32 pm:

    Agree with Alderman Reilly that traffic will be a concern near the proposed Medinah temporary space. Nearly Ohio and Ontario streets are the on/off exits for the expressway.

    The #36 State/Broadway bus route begins at 5:00am and runs through 1:00am on that stretch of roadway every 13 to 14 minutes. Can attest to sitting in traffic as the bus inches along.

    Can’t imagine the traffic nightmare that will occur if this location moves forward.

  4. - Grandson of Man - Wednesday, Oct 5, 22 @ 12:59 pm:

    Great to see the ceremonial shovels come out for the Rockford casino groundbreaking. Great investment going on in that city.

  5. - don the legend - Wednesday, Oct 5, 22 @ 1:08 pm:

    757 (city of Springfield) + 281 Unincorporated Sangamon County)= 1,038 machines in the county

    196,861 (2019) total population. One machine for every 190 people.

    That’s crazy to me.

  6. - 47th Ward - Wednesday, Oct 5, 22 @ 1:25 pm:

    So with Zalewski not returning, does this mean Rita has to carry all of the gaming bills now?

  7. - OneMan - Wednesday, Oct 5, 22 @ 1:25 pm:

    I was playing with the video gaming data, and using the licensing dates, you could tell the regulators were based in Springfield. Video gaming spread out from Springfield, if it were an illness, you would have been looking for patient zero at a Springfield gas station.

  8. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Oct 5, 22 @ 1:40 pm:

    ===Rita has to carry all of the gaming bills===

    He’s been doing that since 19

  9. - Google Is Your Friend - Wednesday, Oct 5, 22 @ 1:54 pm:

    Someone tell Brendan Reilly about this invention called “ATM machines.” Or did they not have them in the 1990s where he’s stuck?

  10. - Annonin' - Wednesday, Oct 5, 22 @ 2:00 pm:

    On the tale of the Medinah study it should be noted traffic of those streets is generally a disaster already so a few hundred more cars won’t mean much.
    High rollers still headed for Vegas. Who cares how others there.

  11. - Cool Papa Bell - Wednesday, Oct 5, 22 @ 2:07 pm:

    =Springfield sites brought in $47.9 million dollars in the past fiscal year.=

    I’m left wondering how that $47.9 million would have been spent otherwise?

  12. - Merica - Wednesday, Oct 5, 22 @ 2:34 pm:

    I didn’t realize that Springfield traded any chance to be a beautiful city, for a measly $2.4M. Driving around all you see are small billboards for gambling parlors. Every restaurant has them, and they never have any patrons. It’s a sad reality. Someone must be using the machines, which is even sadder. Who is using them, and when? i don’t know.

  13. - cermak_rd - Wednesday, Oct 5, 22 @ 2:47 pm:

    Cool Papa Bell, Probably other forms of gambling.

  14. - cermak_rd - Wednesday, Oct 5, 22 @ 2:49 pm:

    I think traffic will self-regulate. If it gets to be too much of a pain to get there, people will either stop going or use mass transit. If that happens then the River Northers will only have to put up with congestion until that point is reached. Also, they chose to live in a city, there is going to be traffic.

  15. - cermak_rda - Wednesday, Oct 5, 22 @ 2:51 pm:

    Homebody, I agree except CTA has been a disaster recently. Delayed trains, ghost buses, gross misbehavior on the trains, robberies etc.Unless the CTA gets its house in order, it’s out of the running.

  16. - clec dcn - Wednesday, Oct 5, 22 @ 4:56 pm:

    Interesting reading about ISU students in concerns and it certainly shows the age gap. This is where voting blocks and age brackets make sense on whatis important.

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