Details of new Chicago casino released by City Hall

On Friday, City Hall disclosed long-awaited details of five bids to build and operate a Las Vegas-style casino in Chicago.

In contrast to previous talk about locating, a Chicago casino in an outlying neighborhood where relatively few jobs are now, all five of the bids revealed would locate a casino in or around downtown.

While hard rock proposes to build west of lakeshore Drive, directly across from Soldier Field, two other veteran casino operators offered City Hall two potential locations each.

Bally's Corporation offered a casino either at the current site of the Chicago Tribune printing plant on the north branch of the Chicago River, or a site at the south end of the McCormick Place convention center complex.


Rivers, which now operates Illinois’ most lucrative casino near O’Hare Airport, proposed to put a new casino either at the site of McCormick Place's Lakeside Center or south of the Loop in a now-vacant former railyard that's been dubbed the "78." At a total cost of $2 billion, that's the most expensive proposal. The others range between $1.3 billion and $1.8 billion.

Each promises thousands of construction jobs and permanent jobs, either at the casino or allied properties including new entertainment venues and hotels.

Aides to Mayor Lori Lightfoot said she welcomes public comment on the casino proposals. A public hearing has been scheduled for mid-December.