After floating the five potential sites for Chicago’s first casino, Mayor Lori Lightfoot released a survey on Friday asking residents about an ideal location for the project, what the revenue should fund, and if there were any concerns about the development.
A financial feasibility study is underway for those five sites, but that process does not determine the location, according to the mayor’s office. The survey released this week aims to give the city’s administration more information about what Chicagoans need. It will be open through the fall, but initial results will be published in mid-August alongside the feasibility report by the Illinois Gaming Board.
“While the prospect of a new casino holds tremendous potential for generating new revenues and stimulating economic opportunity for Chicago, we are committed to a transparent process for ensuring all voices can be heard as the City moves forward on this historic project,” Lightfoot said.
There’s a lot of talk about where the casino will end up, and many aldermen were surprised by the mayor’s potential sites. The alderpeople representing the two Bronzeville sites, Pat Dowell (3rd) and Sophia King (4th), don’t view the casino as a good fit for their neighborhood and are strongly against it. However, Alderman Sue Garza (10th) says the project could make her Southeast Side ward a recreation destination and keep profits from crossing the border at Indiana’s nearby Horseshoe Casino.
Anyone can take the online survey and it will be accessible in other languages and public libraries for those who need access to a computer. The casino development, which will likely be one of the largest in the country, was made possible after state legislation expanded gaming laws in Illinois. There are six other casinos planned across the state alongside Chicago’s project.