Study: Chicago Casino Not Financially Viable

August 13, 2019 - 3:44 pm

(AP/WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- A consultant has determined that a casino in Chicago would not be profitable enough.

The study by Union Gaming Analytics released Tuesday concludes that Illinois casino tax and fee structures are too "onerous" to allow a developer to make more than 1% or 2% profit.

Casino gambling in Chicago was authorized this year by the General Assembly. A Chicago casino operator would have to pay a $250,000 application fee upfront, a $15 million "reconciliation" fee when the license is issued and up to $120 million in gambling position fees.

“These were issues that we flagged in the process,” Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, whose administration identified several potential sites for a casino, told reporters Tuesday. None are downtown.

Lightfoot said she would like to re-examine the legislation that made a Chicago casino possible.

The Illinois Gaming Board has the authority to ask lawmakers in the next 90 to change the terms for the Chicago site.

The study found a Chicago casino would bring $260 million in revenue back from Indiana.

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