Handicapping Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s picks for the Chicago casino


As city officials dig into the five competing proposals for a new Chicago casino, they will walk into a squall of numbers and promises.

The cost estimates for each mega-complex range from $1.3 billion to $2 billion. Most foresee hundreds of hotel rooms, and some tantalize decision-makers with talk of advance payments to city coffers if awarded the license.

One says in its presentation that it would be a “top three” entertainment attraction in Chicago, behind Navy Pier and Millennium Park. Others promise an “anchor destination for our city” or a “world-class destination resort.”

But key staff in Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s administration might concentrate on just two rules: Keep it simple, and keep it accessible. Those two factors will decide how quickly the city and its threadbare pension funds can start seeing revenue, and whether large crowds will hit the gaming positions and entertainment venues, maximizing the potential income….

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