The Illinois Gaming Board has reportedly begun considering whether Lakeside Casino LLC or Full House Resorts Incorporated should be awarded with the license to operate a proposed casino for the city of Waukegan.
According to a source, the field of contenders was reduced late last month when Rush Street Gaming and Churchill Downs Incorporated pulled their joint bid in the wake of the latter’s decision to sell off its Arlington International Racecourse venue to the Chicago Bears franchise of the National Football League (NFL). This pair are already responsible for the nearby Rivers Casino Des Plains facility and rumors are now rife that this move will be followed by a campaign to run an envisioned downtown Chicago casino.
Illinois is already home to ten casinos but legislation signed into law by the Midwestern state’s Governor, Jay Robert Pritzker, in June of 2019 cleared the way for this complement to grow by as many as six with the licensing of gambling venues for the cities of Chicago, Waukegan, Danville and Rockford as well as for more rural locations in the jurisdictions of Williamson County and Cook County. This measure also legalized land-based and online sportsbetting that chalked up over $507.3 million in May handle to earn ‘The Land of Lincoln’ some $5.4 million in associated taxes.
In its bid to be awarded with the Waukegan license and Full House Resorts Incorporated reportedly explained that it wants to spend approximately $400 million in order to construct the American Place facility featuring a 20-villa boutique hotel and a casino offering some 1,640 slots and 100 gaming tables. The Las Vegas-headquartered firm is currently responsible for five gambling-friendly properties spread across the United States including the Rising Star Casino Resort in the neighboring state of Indiana and purportedly detailed that its planned Lake County venue would moreover come complete with a retail sportsbook, a 1,500-seat entertainments venue and five restaurants.
For its part and Lakeside Casino LLC, which is a consortium being fronted by the Chief Executive Officer for Warner Gaming, Bill Warner, and his counterpart at Tap Room Gaming, Michael Bond, reportedly told Illinois regulators that its envisioned North Point Casino project for Waukegan would offer a 200-room hotel with 20 suites alongside an 81,500 sq ft casino. The alliance purportedly divulged that the $452 million enterprise would furthermore feature a retail sportsbook, a 5,000-seat outdoor amphitheater and multiple dining options that could be enhanced at a future date via the addition of a rooftop pool and a salon and spa facility.
Marcus Fruchter from the Illinois Gaming Board reportedly pronounced that the regulator is hoping to have selected the winning proposal in early January. However, any new Waukegan casino will purportedly face immediate competition from the already-open Rivers Casino Des Plains venue, which is located only about 35 miles to the south, as well as the Forest County Potawatomi Community’s Potawatomi Hotel and Casino venue in the southern Wisconsin city of Milwaukee.