As COVID-19 grips the world and damages economies, many governments are looking for ways to boost the economy as soon as the pandemic is over.
In what is being seen as a huge boost to Illinois, and more specifically Chicago, a brand-new Chicago Casino has been given the green light.
This casino has been 10 years in the works, and Mayor Lori Lightfoot finally managed to get the casino plans off the ground and through the General Assembly.
$45 Million Up Front
In a bill that was pushed through the Illinois General Assembly in the early hours of Sunday morning, the casino will receive $45 million up front in licensing fees, more than enough to help it open with a bang.
Then, over the years, the Chicago Casino is expected to dish out more than $700 million back to the state in re-worked reconciliation fees.
The Illinois General Assembly is hoping that the funds can be used towards the severely underfunded police and fire department pension pots.
More Help for Struggling Casinos
Tucked into this new bill were a handful of other exciting measures for other casinos in the state.
The bill changes reconciliation fee periods from two to six years and gives new gaming operations more time to pay license fees, should the Illinois Gaming Board (IGB) approve them.
This will be very helpful as the fallout of COVID-19 closures starts to take its tolls on casinos all around the state, while encouraging more casinos to consider opening in the state.
The bill passed through the Illinois house with a rather large margin of 77-32 with smatterings of bipartisan support.
American Casino Bouncing Back to Life
Last week, the Win-River casino in California announced that it would be opening again, following a three-month hiatus due to COVID-19.
The Win-River casino is opening at half capacity with a lot of restrictions in place, such as no blackjack and only two players per bank of slots.
There’s still no word on when casinos in Las Vegas will be permitted to open, but the Nevada Gambling Commission has given the green light to a set of rules that will need to be satisfied should casinos decide to open once more.
This is seen as good news for casinos in the country, and as time rolls on we’re expecting more and more casinos to put plans in place to open up.
However, it appears the re-opening of casinos will still come far too late for the WSOP to be played on time.
The WSOP is now expected to be played towards the end of fall, unless a second wave of COVID-19 sweeps the nation as it has begun to do so in China.
Exciting Times Ahead
The new Chicago Casino plans are great news for Illinois, giving hope to struggling industries and creating more jobs.
If the casino plans work out, then we could see more casinos being built and opening, creating more jobs in both the construction and casino industry.
This is exactly the type of bill Illinois needed to pass during these dark times, bringing hope back to the United States of America!