Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Pritzker: Forget downtown, put Chicago casino in area that has ‘been left out, left behind’

You know I'm actually for this. A casino doesn't belong anywhere near downtown Chicago, however, why not put one in the neighborhoods. From the Sun-Times:
Gov. J.B. Pritzker said Monday he would prefer a newly-allowed Chicago casino be located separately from the downtown business district and away from McCormick Place.

While stressing the decision on locating the casino belongs to Mayor Lori Lightfoot and the City Council, the governor said his preference is for the casino to be put in an area that hasn’t benefited from downtown’s building boom.

Pritzker would not name potential sites, but his comments would appear to help the prospects of the old Michael Reese Hospital property at 31st Street and the lake or the former South Works property at 83rd Street and the lake. Another possibility is the Illinois International Port District land on the Southeast Side.

“I will say that we don’t want to, let’s say, compete with what I think is important about downtown, which is, you know, this is a business town, right? And McCormick Place is a business showplace, and it’s different than other places, right?” Pritzker told the Chicago Sun-Times Editorial Board.

“You go to Las Vegas for your convention and you know that the people who are coming are not really spending all their time in the show, but love to go because of all the entertainment and everything else. I think in Chicago people come here to do business, and so you want to make sure that they’re separated, let’s say,” he added.

Reese, South Works and the port authority land all have potential and drawbacks as a casino site. They offer plenty of land for what must be a large casino; state legislation authorizes 4,000 gaming positions, or more than three times of the size of any single Illinois casino. But the sites also have drawbacks.
What say you?

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