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My Mind Has Left My Body
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It looks like the idea of a Chicago casino may be getting closer to reality. The idea has been talked about in another thread but damn if I can remember where. So lets start talking about where and how it should be run.




http://www.suntimes.com/news/politics/402424,CST-NWS-leg26.article


4 casinos for city, suburbs?
SPRINGFIELD | Gov backs $5 bil. plan, new taxes


May 26, 2007
BY DAVE MCKINNEY AND WHITNEY WOODWARD Sun-Times Springfield Reporters

SPRINGFIELD -- Gov. Blagojevich and Senate President Emil Jones embraced a new $5 billion plan Friday that would bring four casinos to the Chicago area and impose additional business taxes to fund health care, schools and mass transit.

The maneuver was a tacit acknowledgment that Blagojevich's $7.6 billion tax plan is in legislative ruin. It also represented an abrupt about-face for the governor, who torpedoed Mayor Daley's plan for a Chicago casino in 2004 because it did not mesh with his "vision for Illinois."

"The idea of more gaming is not something that I like," Blagojevich said Friday, "but I'm prepared to accept it if it means every citizen in our state can get access to affordable, quality, comprehensive health care."

Under Jones-backed legislation that advanced out of a Senate committee by a vote of 8-5, three riverboat licenses would be authorized for Waukegan, the south suburbs and some point within an eight-mile radius of O'Hare Airport. Additionally, Chicago would get a casino.

Republicans attacked the proposal, in part, because it would divert 2 percent of revenues from the four casinos to Chicago State University, potentially handing the school a $40 million windfall that would double its take from the state.


Questions about subpoena

The university has been a Jones favorite. He has steered state funds to the university when other colleges faced deep cuts, and Chicago State has named a building after Jones and given him an honorary degree.
This week, the university was hammered by Auditor General William Holland for misspending public funds, including on a pair of "leadership seminars" its president attended on cruise ships in the Caribbean and Mediterranean.

In committee, Jones initially said Chicago State wasn't in the legislation. But the GOP pointed out the specific language in the 218-page bill that would assure the university a multimillion-dollar windfall, prompting Jones to quietly tell a dissatisfied and surprised Senate Democratic colleague that the bill could be amended.

House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago) voiced pessimism the Senate Democratic gambling package could pass the House as a May 31 adjournment deadline looms. Madigan and House Minority Leader Tom Cross (R-Oswego) are pushing a far more modest bill to add gambling positions at existing casinos to fund a state construction program.

Jones also presented plans for several new taxes to take the place of Blagojevich's failed gross-receipts tax, including a new sales tax on tea and shampoo and other hygiene products.

Finally, before ending an impromptu and highly rare meeting with Springfield reporters, the governor refused to take questions about a federal subpoena received by his campaign. Without speaking, Blagojevich retreated to his office as reporters shouted out questions about the subpoena.
 

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I like the Idea of the land casino being right next to McCormick place. Casinos make money, simple math. They do not build Billion dollar casinos in LV for nothing. I would like the casino to be easily accessible to conventioneers and not promoted to the general public. I would rather take money from bettors ie (losers) at are from out of state. I also think this casino idea in general is a plus for the Chicago convention industry.
 

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My Mind Has Left My Body
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Maybe the idea of the Old Post Office will be reevulated. It certainly has ideal qualities to consider...
-large floor plates and deep interior spaces
-proximity to mass transit (especially Union and LaSalle to lure burbanites), Blue Line, and Ike
-could integrate it with a hotel complex in one of the wings

The only thing I am not sure about is if the city would want it that close to the heart of downtown. It would be a prime location but it also may bring an unwanted elemant or perception not suited for the west loop. If not some place by McCormick Place may be the best choice.
 

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I was once a big supporter of the Downtown casino idea. But now, I'm not so sure. Market studies show that downtown retail environments are pretty much a zero-sum game with a casino as part of the mix.

In other words, a Downtown casino won't generate it's own business. Every dollar spent there is dollar not spent somewhere else downtown.

For this reason, I would like to see it sited somwhere unique such as McCormick Place or Navy Pier.
This is interesting, because my dad and I talked about this a few weeks ago when we were in Vegas. We basically concluded that if there was a nice place downtown, my dad would probably visit the city one additional time a year.

I think the zero-sum game is true in certain cases, but it depends upon the type/class of casino you're talking about. If you're talking about your standard, ho-hum downtown St. Louis type of gaming, then you're right.

If they're putting a casino in downtown Chicago, it needs to be more upscale. It needs to be a vacation destination a segment of visitors would come to the city rather than something they do when they've already decided to visit.

You don't want it by McCormick, because what you're essentially doing is cannibalizing your convention dollars that some guy from Iowa would have spent on Rush Street, etc.

Put a Mandalay/Bellagio/Wynn caliber place on the Pier. You'll still have people spend money here that they'd spend elsewhere in the city, but you'll also get people flying in from the eastern US that would have otherwise gone to Vegas.

I like going to casinos, but I don't like the atmosphere of sitting next to some guy using his welfare check to finance his gambling or the guy on the one-day seniors bus trip. I don't want a standard midwest gaming place. I also don't like the plastic feeling you get in Vegas. You can either gamble, or go to some crummy show, a phony club, or a restaurant that basically sits in the basement of a hotel. Chicago would provide a "real" urban atmosphere for people who don't want to sit at the tables for 12 hours a day. Someone's wife could go shopping on Michigan Avenue. Restaraunts and shows would be closeby (and also probably also included on the Pier as well). Just make it a Carrot-Top free zone. Please.
 

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I agree that the Pier may be the best site.

In fact, I would argue that we should expand the pier, Daniel Burnham style, and make a little floating Vegas.
Perhaps the Pier could work for it is very popular with the out of state visitors.
 

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8 mile radius

If I read the article right and I don't think this proposal is nothing new, the 8 mile radius would not get them anywhere near downtown. Can someone post an aerial shot of metro Chicago with an 8-mile radius around O’Hare. I think it will give some visual to where these hellholes can be put.

Needless to say I am against a downtown casino.
 

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Let's put it on top of a skyscraper and make it the worlds tallest casino. Then it certainly would not be run of the mill. Not sure is it's the best idea, but as a skyscraper enthusiast, I can't help but throw this idae out there. Navy pier sounds good but also River North off Ontario or Ohio.
 

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If we must have one, better downtown than someplace like the Lake Calumet area. The old Post Office would be interesting, but I think it would be better to break it up into several small gaming and entertainment venues and use those to reactivate Motor Row's old auto showrooms--only steps from McCormick Place. Of course, this is totally opposite to modern "gaming" industry practice, of trapping people in a huge windowless room.

Can someone post an aerial shot of metro Chicago with an 8-mile radius around O’Hare
 

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Maybe even its own Man Made island off the coast of downtown would be interesting. Make it a destination deal as opposed to just being downtown.
 

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I agree that the Pier may be the best site.

In fact, I would argue that we should expand the pier, Daniel Burnham style, and make a little floating Vegas.
I had a roommate about 4-5 years ago that was (and still is though I don't talk to him) an architect. He told me that one of the big reasons that Navy Pier was re-opened was for gambling. Daley and the governor couldn't do it in the same swoop, but they had it in their 'master plan'.

I didn't believe him at the time, but now I am seeing it come to fruit.
 

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IGov. Blagojevich and Senate President Emil Jones embraced a new $5 billion plan Friday that would bring four casinos to the Chicago area and impose additional business taxes to fund health care, schools and mass transit.
How much for mass transit? Enough to put CTA in good repair (unlikely) or just a bailout?

I like the Chicago casino idea, but if it's built anywhere OTHER than downtown, it will become the kind of seedy place everybody wants to avoid. Downtown destinations are sexy. Lake Calumet is not. Of course, by adding a casino to our downtown, we are merely making our downtown one step closer to Detroit's or St. Louis'. Take your pick.

Here's an idea... what if they build the casino on some of the United Center's parking lots? The casino can pay for garages, there's good transit access, and it's far enough from downtown to become its own destination, but not far enough away to lose much appeal. Conventioneers will be able to reach it easily via the Green Line, provided a new Cermak stop is built.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
It is a delicate balance no matter where you put it. You don't want it to be susceptible to infusing a seediness element yet it would be nice if would help bring traffic and development immediately around it.

Every location will have its pros and cons. If away from downtown the UC is probably a good distance. I am just apprehensive about putting it in a hard luck neighborhood. Plus I would like to eventually see residential on those lots which I am not sure a casino would help or hinder those prospects. Then again maybe it would finally drive development and help lift up the immediate area. The location in some ways would make a good deal of sense.

Navy Pier may be good and you could have casino boats which may be a plus. Would it drive out the family element that for better or worse makes it such a success? Would a casino just be a big impetus for the already car loving pier to cater to?

One place I don't want to see a casino go is Elk Grove. That is the last place in the metro that should be rewarded with a casino. We hate our expanded airport is minutes away from our casino that fills our coffers. :bash:
 

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A waterfront location for a major casino makes sense. But to me that waterfront would not be the lake but the river. The lakefront's greatness has been eternal. The riverfront is coming of age today, a fabulous and unique urban amenity that is uniquely Chicago; no city on the globe has a tower lined, man made canyon like river other than Chicago. The riverfront, particularly in the downtown area, needs to be further enhanced as the newest showcase. It's a perfect location for a casino. Who knows, maybe we'll build it on the South Loop riverfront and even name the new place the Roosevelt-Change-And-Token-Collection.
 

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I also hear from Daley haters that the reason for closing Meigs and seizing Northerly Island was for gambling as well. This too is very unlikely.
I hadn't thought about that, but think about what is next to Northerly Island -- two of the top 5 draws in Chicago.
 
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