CASINO

Illinois gaming officials ready to make choice on new casino operator

TAGs: Illinois, license

Chicago, Illinois may not yet be ready for a casino, but other locations in the state are better prepared. Danville has been chosen as a site for a new gambling house and, as soon as the news broke, has already seen a considerable amount of interest. Of all the candidates, though, there are apparently only two that fit the bill and it now comes time to choose the lucky winner.

Danville Mayor Rickey Williams, Jr. told the City Council last week that the final two candidates had been selected. The expectation was to have the choices announced last week, but there have been too many moving parts for that to happen. By the time the Council meets next Tuesday, September 17, the final recommendation should be ready. Williams explained, “Both of them are strong, just in different ways.”

There is still a lot to do before the final choice is made. Danville is still running full background checks on the unidentified companies, dissecting their financial and regulatory histories. The city is also negotiating with the two in order to determine which will offer the most benefits to the local population.

If everything goes according to plan, a Danville casino could create as many as 600 full-time jobs and a handful of part-time positions. It would also deliver up to $7 million in tax revenue – for a city of just 33,000, that’s a huge bonus. Provided there are no unforeseen delays or obstacles, the venue should be operational before 2021 comes to a close.

At least one of the decisions related to the casino will be easy to make. Both of the potential candidates had chosen the same location for their venue, a spot of land close to the Indiana state line right off Interstate 74. It has ample access via several nearby exit ramps and is located in Danville’s industrial park.

Since only a single location had been chosen by both outfits, it makes it easy for city officials to cover the proper zone regulations. Danville’s Planning and Zoning Commission is going to vote next month on whether or not to approve the request by city leaders to rezone the area to allow the gambling operations.

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