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Lightfoot proposes 2 options for Chicago casino to lawmakers
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot is pushing two options for a Chicago casino. One calls for a casino owned by both the city and the state, the other calls for a privately-owned casino.

Lightfoot pitched the proposal to Illinois lawmakers. She said Tuesday either would require the Legislature to approve taxes lower than those written into expanded gambling legislation enacted earlier this year.popular casinos

A study by Las Vegas-based 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.

Democratic state Rep. Greg Harris of Chicago says Lightfoot will have a hard time getting a tax change. He says the tax structure for a Chicago casino is part of a package for existing casinos and six new ones.
Many conservative groups and religious organizations oppose expanding any form of gambling because they find it immoral and an addictive habit that breeds crime. Others have questioned the rosy revenue predictions offered by supporters, especially as more states expand gambling and compete for customers.

Wynn Development President Chris Gordon walked lawmakers through the opening of the company's newest casino in the Boston area, which he said was a $2.6 billion project built without state tax breaks. He said it has created more than 5,000 jobs and is expected to provide $201 million annually in state taxes.While he didn't explicitly pitch his company for Georgia, he encouraged lawmakers to examine Wynn's record."You can't just take the beautiful glossy proposals you're going to get and believe them," he said. "You've got to kick the tires."


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