Should the time come when Illinois finally decides to jump on board gambling expansion in the state, one Las Vegas-based casino company is already looking into setting up a shop in the state.
The announcement was made by Cannery Casino Resorts, who recently made it clear of their intentions to build a $250 million casino in the Chicago suburb of Country Club Hills, despite Illinois Governor Pat Quinn’s well-chronicled opposition to gambling expansion in the state. Bill Paulos, a majority owner of Cannery Casino Resorts and a man that has built a career that includes helping develop iconic Vegas landmarks like the Luxor and Excalibur, has made it known that should there be a law that will pass on gambling expansion, Cannery Casino Resorts is, in his own words, “here, ready, and able”.
Despite Gov. Quinn’s long held his anti-gambling expansion position – his own words: “As long as I’m governor, I will not support a gambling bill that falls well short of protecting the people of Illinois” – the Illinois House still proceeded and voted to pass the bill last May, one that would allow for a huge expansion of legalized gambling in the state.
But the seeming lack of developments on the issue has caused a lot of state residents to become indifferent on the prospects of expanded gambling in the state. Last month, the Chicago Tribune reported that 47% of residents in the state are against expansion whereas 43%. As our very own Jamie Hinks astutely pointed out, those numbers were a stark contrast to a similar poll held in February when 50% were in favor of expansion compared to only 42% in opposition of it.
Having said all of that, you have to give some credit to Cannery Casino Resorts. Despite the state’s lackadaisical approach on the issue, CCR’s spirits have yet to be dampened. They’re still touting their $250 million casino plans in Country Club Hills, even going so far as to proclaim that the casino could create 1,000 full-time jobs. They’re just waiting for the bill to be passed…even though that in itself is still far from a slam dunk.
Like Bill Paulos said: “Understanding we do not have a law yet … we want everyone to know we’re prepared.”
Prepared you are, sir. Prepared you are.