City Releases Summary of Casino RFI Responses
Details provided by 11 respondents will offer critical feedback on key issues for anticipated casino RFP
Chicago – Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot released a detailed summary of the 11 responses to the City of Chicago’s Request for Information for the Chicago casino providing an inside look at the City’s first step in the planning process to develop and operate a world-class casino. The information provided will be considered in the development of the City’s Request for Proposal which is expected in the first quarter of 2021, depending upon the pandemic and its impact on capital markets for new development projects at that time.
“The many perspectives and insights captured in this RFI are indicative of the excitement and anticipation of this once in a lifetime project,” said Mayor Lightfoot. “Thanks to the responses of nearly a dozen RFI respondents, we are not only one step closer to bringing the long-awaited Chicago casino to life, but have the critical information we need to ensure this project will be a success.”
The summary of responses provides key insights into how potential operators view a temporary casino, temporary and permanent casino locations including optimal acreage and factors to consider with respect to site selection, and amenities to complement the casino including hotels, food and beverage outlets, retail, parking and other amenities such as Chicago’s existing entertainment offerings. Additionally, respondents provided feedback on how the City could assist casino developers, community engagement, the RFP process and estimated construction timelines. All respondents agreed that the current COVID-19 pandemic will have no or minimal impact on the finally constructed casino facility given the timeline for selecting and licensing a casino operator and construction of the casino complex. Respondents were also in alignment that community engagement and support of the casino were integral to its success.
The respondents included Chicago Neighborhood Initiatives, Christiansen Capital Advisors, Development Management Associates (DMA), DL3 Realty, Hard Rock International, JDL, MGM Resorts International, MGM Growth Properties, R2 Companies, Rush Street Gaming and Related Midwest, and Wynn Resorts.
As the center of the third largest metropolitan area in the country with over 9.5 million residents, the City represents one of the largest untapped gaming opportunities in the country. The City’s scale and connectivity provide an immense market to benefit the gaming complex. A global gateway and leading hub for domestic and international travel, Chicago offers a robust public transit infrastructure unmatched in the broader Midwest region. With more than three million working-age adults within a 50-minute commute to downtown Chicago, a highly diversified economy that provides all the key elements for business success, and a vibrant and renowned cultural and restaurant scene, Chicago serves as a premier destination for gaming and broader development in a world class city.
Earlier this year, Mayor Lightfoot redoubled efforts and worked with the Governor and state legislature to amend the Illinois Gambling Act to lower the tax rates applicable to a Chicago casino necessary to make the casino a reality. The pursuit of a Chicago casino has been decades in the making and will help shore up the city’s pension obligations in addition to driving huge levels of infrastructure funding and fueling thousands of new, well-paying jobs during the construction and operation phases.
To review the RFI, the summary of the responses and learn more about Chicago’s casino, visit www.chicago.gov/chicagocasino.