Chicago Sets Upfront Cash Price for Casino License at $75 Million

Last-minute condition introduced by Mayor Lightfoot

by - Tuesday, April 26th, 2022 3:12

Chicago casino

The city of Chicago has added yet another condition for the winner of the Windy City’s casino license—$75 million in cash upfront.
Casino can also opt to pay $40 million upfront and $2 million per year

While requests like this are not uncommon in the gambling industry, it’s very unusual for such a stipulation to be added so late in the application and approval process. However, Mayor Lori Lightfoot has opted to insert the condition for the winning bidder.

The payment can be made as either a $40 million one-off payment along with a further $2 million per year for the duration of the license or it one payment of $75 million.

There are three finalists in the bidding process with only Bally’s known to have made a cash upfront offer. The company’s offer was $25 million and suggests the fact that neither of its competitors made a similar offer could put it in pole position for the license. However, there have been no indications from either Hard Rock or Rush Street Gaming that they would not be open to an upfront payment if it secured a gaming license.

According to the city’s written statement on the new condition:

“All other revenues and financial incentives will go to the city’s general purposes, which fund essential services such as police, fire, streets, and sanitation, among others. Negotiations are ongoing and (the city) will provide more details once they are available.”

Daniel Hunter

iGaming veteran & data analyst covering the world of land-based and online gambling in the United States.

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