After decades of discussions, a Chicago casino may soon become a reality. Immediately after taking office in May 2019, Mayor Lightfoot and her administration worked with State officials to secure the legislative approval to build the City’s first-ever casino. On this website you’ll find information related to the City’s plan to kickstart this historic development.
In particular, the City has issued a Request for Information (“RFI”) for a casino development. This RFI is meant to solicit feedback and ideas related to the casino development.
Chicago provides a unique opportunity to create a world-class tourist destination within the City. With approximately 9.5 million residents, the Chicagoland region ranks 3rd in the U.S. in population. Chicago’s GDP of $671 billion is greater than that of Sweden, Poland, or Argentina. In fact, if Chicago were a country, it would be one of the top 25 largest economies in the world. Yet despite these powerful statistics, the City’s gaming market remains untouched. As a result, Chicago offers a once-in-a-generation opportunity for new gaming and entertainment development in the heart of a major American city. We also believe the Chicago casino has the potential to be the centerpiece of and catalyzing force for a broader economic development effort – one that not only builds upon the City’s aesthetic look and feel but that reflects its values and ideals.
Chicago is a major business center nationally. More than 400 major corporations hold headquarters in Chicago. In fact, for six years in a row the City has led the nation in corporate expansions and relocations.
In 2019, Chicago drew nearly 60 million domestic visitors, including 47 million leisure travelers and 13 million business travelers.
Home to the third largest airport in the country, O’Hare International Airport, Chicago has over 130 combined daily nonstop flights to New York City, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C., more than any other airport in the world. By 2028 upgrades to O’Hare will increase its capacity by an amount equivalent to building another Midway International Airport, Chicago’s second largest airport. As a global gateway city, in 2019, Chicago also welcomed 1.5 million overseas visitors, and an additional 750,000 visitors from Mexico and Canada.
For all of these reasons, Chicago is consistently recognized as a world-class city for residents and visitors alike, earning recognition for everything from entertainment, to dining and nightlife, to infrastructure. A Chicago casino development will be able to leverage these assets, while also anchoring a new hub for entertainment in the City in one of Chicago’s 77 distinct neighborhoods.