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What Happens in Chicago Stays in Chicago

By Rachelle Bowden in News on May 11, 2004 1:00PM


After several days of wishy washiness, Mayor Richard Daley has announced that he is supporting plans to build a casino in downtown Chicago. He said that budget problems are forcing the city to find new sources of income and that he wants Chicago to be the first city in the nation to own a license so that both state and city taxpayers would receive all of the revenue benefits - up to $850 million annually. Daley also said that a casino would employ about 2,500 people.

Passage of the proposal will get stiff opposition from existing casino owners and horse racing tracks that will say that the competition will be too much. The plan will also get harsh criticism from churches and other anti-gaming groups. The proposal, which will be revealed today or tomorrow, will also include plans for casinos in both the northern and southern suburbs.

Daley hasn't chosen a location for the casino but says that Navy Pier and Northerly Island are definitely not options. The oldest McCormick Place is one viable site, as well as a west loop site between Lake and Grand, a vacant Post Office building, and a River City site nearby.

Chicagoist wonders if the sprinkling of casinos around downtown and the suburbs will negatively affect life in the city. But we are not opposed to having a casino near the Chicagoist downtown office where, after a long day in the trenches, we could drink cheap liquor and bet it all on red.