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Chicago Casino Study: Taxes too high to be profitable / Southland is oversaturated


The study by Union Analytics Gaming found that under the current tax structure, a private operator would not be able to make enough of a return on its investment on a Chicago casino in any location…Please click here for Paris Schutz and Amanda Vinicky’s story on WTTW.

In “Here’s what else we can we glean from today’s casino report,” Crain’s Chicago Business adds: The South Side is saturated. Despite calls from some lawmakers and willing aldermen to see the casino in an underinvested part of the city’s South Side, including Ald. Susan Sadlowski Garza, the authors argue those locations won’t work because of oversupply. “Not only does the recently enacted legislation introduce even more gaming supply to the south of the City of Chicago in the form of a casino in south suburban Cook County and a south suburban racetrack casino, there is existing gaming in the form of casinos in Aurora and Joliet, and multiple casinos in northwest Indiana” that serve Chicagoans on the South Side and in the south suburbs.

A group of Southland mayors agreed about the potential oversaturation of casinos in south Chicago and South Cook County. “It’s not going to work,” Matteson Mayor Sheila Chalmers-Currin said to the Tribune/Daily Southtown of the possibility of a racino and casino, perhaps operating just a few miles away from one another, being feasible.  With the south suburbs book-ended by existing casinos in Joliet and northwest Indiana, and a casino in Chicago on the horizon, there are not enough gambling dollars to go around, Chalmers-Currin continued in the story, Black Southland mayors group wants delay on plans for harness racing, casino combo.

The group also points out another thorny issue to Tribune reporter Mike Nolan: Revenue sharing.

Under the law, whichever south suburb a casino is ultimately built in would keep 2% of monthly adjusted gross receipts — a casino’s take after paying winners at slots and table games — with another 3% distributed among 42 other Southland communities. The gambling expansion law doesn’t provide for a similar revenue-sharing agreement for a racino.

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