Wynn Resorts not targeting new casino in Chicago
One of the top contenders to receive the casino license in Chicago has reportedly backed out of the race, eliminating a big name.
Wynn Resorts was one of four companies to submit a Request For Information (RFI), but it will not be moving on to the next step.
There are still some other big names in the running, including Hard Rock and Rush Street (BetRivers), but there was hope that Wynn would submit a bid. MGM Resorts also submitted an RFI, but it withdrew its name from the process earlier this summer.
According to MGM Resorts CEO Bill Hornbuckle, concerns about the overall cost will keep his company from pushing forward.
In a statement, Hornbuckle said, “Chicago is just complicated. The history there in Chicago, the tax, and the notion of integrated resort at scale don’t necessarily marry up. And while I think they’ve had some improvement, we’re not overly keen or focused at this point in time there.”
The Illinois Gaming Board and the city of Chicago have both worked together to make this new destination more attractive, but the tax rate is still extremely high. With the entire gaming industry taking off throughout the United States, Wynn Resorts can simply focus on other parts of the country.
There is still a chance that new options can emerge when the final bids are accepted, but it currently looks like either Rush Street or Hard Rock are in the lead. It has been projected that this new casino project will cost more than $1 billion to develop, and that will keep some of the smaller companies out of the running.
Rush Street is a company that has its headquarters in Chicago, which would seem to give it a big advantage to land the license. Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said that Rush Street would not receive any preferential treatment, but it could end up being the only company left that submits an official bid.
Chicago Could Lift Sports Betting Ban
The city of Chicago currently has a ban on sports betting in place, but that rule could be changing in the very near future. Sports betting laws allow for stadiums and arenas to offer sports betting, but that currently doesn’t apply to those properties located within city limits.
An ordinance has recently been introduced by Alderman Walter Burnett, and it seeks to lift the ban immediately. It isn’t likely that there will be much debate on this new ordinance as it could provide a new revenue source for the city of Chicago.
Included in this new ordinance are the fees that would be associated with offering sports betting within the city of Chicago. According to the ordinance, a license would come with a cost of $50,000, and there would be a renewal fee of $25,000.
If this ordinance is passed, each venue could set up no more than 15 sports betting kiosks on-site, and sports betting could only be offered during select hours. Even though this would still create some limitations, it would be a major step from where the laws currently stand.
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