CHICAGO (TOC) — If the previous Tribune publishing plant in River West is to turn into the positioning of Chicago’s first on line casino, the town council should log out on it.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot is hoping for a committee vote earlier than the top of Might, however some aldermen are pumping the brakes. Particularly since, they mentioned, they only obtained an ordinance from the mayor’s workplace this afternoon.
“The final time we got lower than two weeks to vet and approve a deal, it blew up in our faces and it was referred to as the parking meter deal,” mentioned forty second Ward Alderman Brendan Reilly.
Town was within the scorching seat Monday, peppered with aldermanic questions at an all-day digital assembly, solely the second ever of the Particular Committee on casinos.
Bally’s received the bid with a deal that features a $40 million upfront fee and a dedication to hiring 60% of minorities and 45% ladies.
“It is thrilling for us, however we additionally perceive how deep our accountability it’s,” mentioned Soo Kim, Bally’s chairman of the board. “There’s a number of guarantees for us to maintain and we intend to maintain them.”
The proposed on line casino is in Alderman Walter Burnett’s ward. Initially, he opposed it, however now Burnett helps it.
“This can be a nice deal for the town, I feel it might be irresponsible for us as a metropolis council to permit for this money cow to not occur in metropolis at this occur,” he mentioned.
Burnett mentioned the deal would assist pay police and hearth pensions quite than flip to residents for a property tax improve. Others are asking for a agency dedication to verify the on line casino cash will likely be particularly earmarked for pensions.
“We positively have a number of issues we now have to pay for then someone may determine they wish to do fuel playing cards half two and we’re spending more cash than we must be spending,” mentioned Ald. Andre Vasquez.
Apart from the pace of the method, there have been extra issues from metropolis council members about site visitors, density and inexperienced area.
The mayor’s workplace desires transfer forward as shortly as doable as a result of the method to get the on line casino permitted is prolonged. After full metropolis council approval, its subsequent step is the Illinois Gaming Board after which again to metropolis council for zoning and different approvals.
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