The city of Chicago is holding a special meeting Monday to determine where to locate the city’s first casino. But not all the inhabitants of these neighborhoods are on board.
The three neighborhoods considered include the South Loop, which includes Chinatown and Pilsen, the area just west of Soldier Field, and River North.
Each of these locations considers offers from three different casinos: Bally’s Corporation, Hard Rock and Rivers 78.
On Sunday, protesters spoke out against the proposed Rivers 78 casino in the South Loop, arguing it would lead to more traffic and more gambling. They also cited an assessment which they say shows the majority of residents do not support a casino.
Aldus. Byron Sigcho Lopez, whose 25th Ward includes Chinatown and the West Loop, is also against casino development.
“We understand there’s a casino that’s been state-approved, city-approved, but where that happens should always be in consultation with residents,” Ald said. Sicho Lopez.
According to Mayor Lori Lightfoot, projected tax revenue is between $175 million and $195 million depending on location, with the money going to subsidize police and firefighter pensions.
“The revenue will go to bolster our police and fire pensions, which is critically important,” Lightfoot said. “This will ease the burden on our taxpayers.”
Mayor Lightfoot is pushing for a final decision in May or June.
Locations of each casino considered
- Casino Rivers 78 (projected tax revenue of $175 million): South Loop and Chinatown along the Chicago River
- Bally Company (projected tax revenue of $192 million): Site of the current Chicago Tribune building near River North near the Chicago River
- Hard Rock ($195 million projected tax revenue): Area just west of Soldier Field
How to participate in the public meeting
A virtual meeting will be held at 1 p.m. on the Chicago City Clerk website. Written public comments can be emailed to Nicole.Wellhausen@CityofChicago.org and Raymond.Valadez@cityofchicago.org and will be accepted until 10:00 a.m. Monday.