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Chicago receives five casino development proposals

29 October 2021

(PRESS RELEASE) -- Today, bids were due on the City of Chicago’s request for proposal for its first integrated casino-resort. Five proposals were submitted for consideration in developing a world-class casino-resort and entertainment experience in Chicago with the goal of being awarded the city’s sole casino owner’s license.

The City of Chicago received a total of five proposals from the following applicants (listed in alphabetical order):
  • Bally’s Corporation submitted two proposals for two different sites; its casino operations would be self-managed
  • HR Chicago, LLC submitted a proposal for a single site; its casino operations would be managed by an affiliate, Hard Rock International
  • Rivers Chicago at McCormick, LLC submitted a proposal for a single site; its casino operations would be managed by Rush Street Gaming, LLC
  • Rivers 78 Gaming, LLC submitted a proposal for a single site; its casino operations would be managed by Rush Street Gaming, LLC
The selected proposal will have the exclusive opportunity to own and operate a casino-resort in the country’s third-largest metropolitan market.

“We are thrilled to have received five high-caliber proposals from Bally’s Corporation; HR Chicago, LLC; Rivers Chicago at McCormick, LLC; and Rivers 78 Gaming, LLC,” said Chicago Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot. “The submission of bid responses represents a major step toward the thoughtful development of a casino-resort that uplifts our businesses, employs and empowers our residents and encourages tourism. We look forward to the next phase of discussions to bring this world-class entertainment experience to our city.”

An initiative three decades in the making, the Chicago casino remains one of the country’s most attractive casino-resort development opportunities. A global gateway city with 9.5 million residents, Chicago welcomed 60 million domestic and 1.5 million international visitors in 2019. The selected bidder will be able to incorporate its property into the City’s vibrant cultural scene, robust public transit infrastructure, and highly diversified economy.

Chicago is one of the world’s most dynamic cities and this license represents a once-in-a-generation opportunity for a casino operator in the heart of a major American city.

The holder of the Chicago owner’s license has the opportunity to operate a temporary casino for up to 24 months (subject to a 12-month extension) and, thereafter, a permanent casino located in the City. Applicants selected through the RFP process then must apply to the state for the owner’s license and meet the state’s licensing requirements.

Now that RFP responses have been received, a review committee made up of a cross-section of City departments will determine the recommended winning bidder. This recommendation will be made by the review committee to Mayor Lightfoot who will ultimately make the determination with City Council approval.

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