Chicago has elaborated on each of the five proposals that are competing to be awarded with a casino owner’s licence within the city, after concluding a request for proposals process.
Five motions have been received by Chicago, with each looking to operate a temporary casino for up to 24 months (subject to a 12-month extension) and, thereafter, a permanent casino located in the city. Applicants selected through the RFP process then must apply to the state for the owner’s license and meet the licensing requirements.
“The caliber of the proposals from Bally’s Corporation, HR Chicago, Rivers Chicago at McCormick and Rivers Gaming are in line with our vision to develop a world-class experience in Chicago that will drive significant economic growth and employment opportunities for our communities,” said Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot.
“Each proposal provides a unique vision for what Chicago’s casino-resort could look like, and our expert review committees are ready to dive into discussions to usher in a new and exciting era for our city.”
The first of two Bally’s proposals would see the construction of a $1.8bn venue that would boast 500 rooms; six restaurant/cafes and a food hall; three bars and lounges; 3,000-seat, 70,000 square foot entertainment venue; 20,000 square foot of exhibition space; outdoor/rooftop green space including bars, lounges and pools; 3,400 slots and 173 table games.
The second, at a slightly lower $1.6bn, would bring 500 rooms; six restaurant/cafes and a food hall; three bars and lounges; 3,000-seat, 70,000 sq. ft. entertainment venue; 20,000 square feet of exhibition space; outdoor/rooftop green space including bars, lounges and pools; 3,400 slots and 173 table games.
HR Chicago proposes a $1.7bn property from Hard Rock International with up to 500 rooms, eight restaurant/cafes and a food hall, six bars and lounges, 3,500-seat Hard Rock Live, Rock spa, Hard Rock music and entertainment experience, 3,400 slots and 166 table games.
Elsewhere, Rivers Chicago at McCormick is aiming to triumph with a $1.3bn venue, managed by Rush Street Gaming, utilising McCormick Place’s 2,900 hotel rooms with ability to add 250 or more; 12 restaurant/cafes including a food hall; four bars and lounges in addition to full bars at seven restaurants; 4,200-seat updated Arie Crown Theater; direct covered access to McCormick Place Convention Center; lakefront setting with outdoor dining, entertainment and other lakeside programming; 2,600 slots and 190 table games.
Finally, Rivers 78 Gaming has submitted plans for a $2bn facility, that would also be managed by Rush Street Gaming, with 300 rooms; eight restaurant/cafes and a food hall, five bars and lounges; Riverfront plaza; observation tower with indoor/outdoor viewing space; Harbor Hall multi-purpose riverfront venue for live entertainment, culture/arts and community programs with rooftop space; 2,600 slots and 190 table games.
The selected bidder, who will look to take advantage of 9.5 million residents, with Chicago also welcoming 60 million domestic and 1.5 million international visitors in 2019, will be tasked with incorporating its property into the city’s cultural scene, public transit infrastructure, and diversified economy.
The proposal review team includes experts made up of a cross-section of city department leaders who will determine the recommended winning bidder.
This recommendation will be made by the review committee to Mayor Lightfoot who will ultimately make the determination with city council approval.