Regulators call for law change to make Chicago casino viable

The Illinois Gaming Board is calling on lawmakers to change state law to make a Chicago casino viable.

A Union Gaming Analytics' study released last month cited Illinois' "onerous tax and fee structure" in determining an operator of a casino in Chicago could expect a profit of as little as 1%.

The five-person Gaming Board on Monday passed the resolution seeking changes in the tax structure. The board didn't make any specific recommendations on those changes they say are necessary.

Chairman Charles Schmadeke said the board's role is to make recommendations to the General Assembly and for legislatures to "do as they deem appropriate.

A Chicago casino was authorized under Illinois' sweeping new gambling expansion. However, Union Gaming determined that with an effective tax rate of 72% - including a third of revenue earmarked for city police and firefighter pensions - on top of fees, no developer could secure financing for construction of a casino.