Chicago Alderman Against Casino Plan in Her District, Neil Bluhm Tears Sportsbook Measures

A Chicago executive whose ward includes a potential site for the city’s casino project has called for that proposal immediately scrapped.

Alderman Sophia, whose district includes a portion of the city’s Bronzeville neighborhood, gave a statement to The Chicago Sun-Times saying she knows the project can help the city financially. However, the huge development

“should not be done at the expense of our communities, especially marginalized ones.”

Bally’s Corporation has proposed constructing a $1.6 billion casino resort at the McCormick Place Truck Marshalling Yards, located just to the south of the McCormick Place Convention Center, the biggest convention center in North America.

The site is one among the two proposed locations the firm submitted to city executives two weeks ago. In a release, Bally’s termed the region an “underutilized site” that would change into

“an entertainment that connects Chicago’s convention hub with the vibrant, predominantly African-American Bronzeville community.”

King gave that proposal a hard pass.

“Since the beginning of this process, the community has been clear in their desire not to see a casino built at the site,”

she said, according to The Sun-Times.

The other site Bally wishes the city to consider is the edge of West Chicago Avenue and North Halsted Street, the current location of the Chicago Tribune’s printing plant.

At either site, Bally suggests constructing the resort in two phases. The first would be a casino with 95 table games and 2,700 slot machines. The $1 billion undertaking would contain a 100-suite luxury hotel and an outdoor entertainment venue that holds 1,000 people.

The second phase would increase the casino to 4,000 gaming seats, feature a 400-room hotel tower, a 3,000-seat indoor performance center, a 20,000 square-foot exhibition center that contains a Chicago sports museum.

City’s decision anticipated early next year

McCormick Place was the favorite site for all three firms bidding for the casino license.

If awarded, Hard Rock International plans to build its casino at One Central, a $19billion proposed development across 34 acres just north of the convention center and across Lake Shore Drive from Soldier Field. The Hard Rock Casino will be one of the several residential, commercial, hospitality, health-related, and educational projects among the 29 million-square-foot footprint.

The other proposal of Rush Street is to construct the casino at the 78, a 62-acre project along Chicago River that once served as a railway yard. The project’s name is delivered on the city having 77 neighborhoods, and developer Related Midwest stated this would be Chicago’s latest.

During a press conference last week, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot declined to explain whether she had a favorite among them but said she was excited by what proposals were submitted.

She said,

“We expect that we will bring the various respondents in and let them do presentations. I want to get a finalist to recommend to the Illinois Gaming Board sometime in the first quarter of next year.”

Rush Street’s Bluhm opposes the Chicago Sportsbook proposal

On Monday, the Rush Street Gaming chairman and co-founder Neil Bluhm spoke before a council member joint committee but not directly concerning his firm’s casino proposal.

Bluhm appeared before the City Council’s Zoning, Landmarks, and Building Standards and License and Consumer Protection Committee in opposition to a statute that would allow sportsbooks to operate in the city.

Bluhm questioned why the city would allow five stadiums and arenas to open sportsbooks before any firm wins the casino license even get a chance to break ground. No matter which casino site is selected, he said sportsbooks in or near stadiums would have “a materially negative impact” on casino revenues.

“The stadiums are great locations,”

he told the aldermen during the non-voting meeting.

“Wrigley Field and United Center are phenomenal locations. The vast majority of Chicagoans will live much closer to the stadiums than the Chicago casino.”

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