November 14, 2019

Statement from Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot on Chicago Casino

Mayor's Press Office    312.744.3334

While we are disappointed that a much-needed fix to the gaming bill won’t be made during this compressed veto session, the Chicago casino is still very much in the sightline thanks to the progress we’ve made with our state partners. While this delay does not impact the City’s FY 2020 budget, this fiscal challenge looms large for FY 2021 and thereafter. Thus, the heightened sense of urgency remains. A substantial percentage of the state’s vertical capital bill depends on the revenue from a Chicago casino.

After 30 years of only being talked about, our proposal has moved Chicago closer than ever to bringing much-needed relief for our police and fire pension funds, while unlocking significant economic opportunity for our communities and capital funding for our entire state. From the beginning, the city’s proposal for the gaming bill has always been about finding a workable tax structure for a casino development that is projected to fuel thousands of new jobs, create hundreds of millions in new gaming revenues for the City as well as the state, all while redirecting $260 million in additional funds annually that have otherwise been lost out to gambling across the border.

I want to thank Governor Pritzker, Speaker Madigan, Senate President Cullerton, Representative Rita and members of the Chicago Federation of Labor, as well as other members of the General Assembly for their partnership this veto session, and I look forward to continuing our conversations about advancing the casino starting in January.  With so much potential on the line, our city and state deserve to get this done and get this done right.