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State's 10th Casino License Up for Sale

By Kevin Robinson in News on Jul 18, 2008 4:00PM

The state believes it will sell its long-dormant 10th casino license by the end of the year, according to Gaming Board Chairman Aaron Jaffe. "Although the journey was tumultuous, the end result validated the efforts of many people, over a long period of time, to maintain the integrity of the gaming industry," he said. The license was originally held by Emerald Casino, which had planned to open a facility in Rosemont. The state revoked that license in 2001 amid allegations of mob connections.

Bid applications will be released today, and are due back by the end of September or early October. The Illinois Gaming Board will then unseal the bids and release locations, dollar amounts and broad outlines of the proposals to the public. Three finalists will then be chosen and the state will begin negotiating bid prices and benefits to the state. According to the IGB, Rosemont is free to try again, and Rosemont spokesman Gary Mack said the suburb is still interested, but so is Des Plains. "We're still a player," said Des Plaines City Manager Jason Bajor. "We're very much interested in having a casino." Chicago would also like a casino, and the only restrictions are that a casino can't be located on the lake front, eliminating Navy Pier or McCormick Place as options. Credit Suisse is managing the application process for a fee of one percent of any purchase price, to a maximum of $4 million. If no winner is selected, as has happened in the past, the bank will be paid a flat fee of $100,000.