Chicago’s southern suburb of Crestwood is jockeying into position ahead of a raft of new casino developments that are set to emanate across the state of Illinois.
Following Governor JB Pritzker rubber stamping a $45bn ‘Rebuild Illinois’ action plan at the start of the month, the village is seeking proposals from investors and casino operators for potential construction on a forty acre site.
As part of Pritzker’s multi-faceted statewide ambitions is a significant gaming expansion, with headlines concerning casino proposals in bill SB 690 centred around Chicago, with the Windy City to see construction of its first land-based establishment.
However further properties in Waukegan, Rockford, Williamson County, Danville and the South Suburbs have also been authorised, as well as the introduction of slots at the Midway and O’Hare Airports.
The request for proposals issued by Crestwood identifies the property chosen for development, alongside a promise that it will be construction ready by the close of the year.
With issuance of the RFP, the village has made clear its intention of petitioning for the Chicago south suburban casino license recently approved by Illinois lawmakers, and will use the selected response to petition for a gaming license from the Illinois gaming board.
Lou Presta, Mayor of Crestwood, would welcome a casino construction in the village: “We have spoken to Crestwood citizens and to community leaders in surrounding villages and they are overwhelmingly in favour of welcoming a new, world class gaming casino to our town.”
Earlier this month, Presta called a special meeting with residents and business leaders of Crestwood to discuss the possibility of inviting a casino developer to the village.
Furthermore, meetings with large casino operations in the US and Europe are said to have been positive, with many expressing keen interest in a potential development.
Presta also reaffirmed his intentions of sharing casino revenues with other south suburban municipalities: “The revenue from a casino is anticipated to be significant enough to bring positive change to a broad area within Chicago’s south suburbs.
“That can only come about if the casino is placed where it is geographically perfect, and the construction and design is environmentally and aesthetically perfect.
“Crestwood happens to be perfect from a geographical standpoint, and we intend to approve a developer that will bring nothing less than a world-class facility to our village.”