Two top regional gambling operators, Churchill Downs and Rush Street Gaming who jointly own and operate the popular Rivers casino Des Plaines, have confirmed that they are vying for a casino license in Waukegan, Illinois.
Illinois is poised to have six different casinos at Waukegan, Chicago, Rockford, Danville, Williamson County, and Cook County after state Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed a massive gambling expansion bill earlier this year.
Earlier in August, the Waukegan city’s director of planning and economic development confirmed that they have received proposals from six prospective developers.
“We’re happy to be considered to develop and operate what we know will be a leading entertainment destination for the City of Waukegan, Lake County and the State of Illinois,” Rush Street Gaming CEO Greg Carlin said in a statement.
The proposed Rivers Casino Waukegan would feature a 1,625-gaming position parlor at Waukegan’s Fountain Square, a former shopping mall at Lakehurst Road and Northpoint Boulevard.
In a joint statement, the two operators have said that their casino project would create over 1,200 permanent jobs and 900 temporary construction jobs. The casinos would also contribute to the local economy to the tune of $150 million annually.
Waukegan City will release the names of the shortlisted developers the next week. Following the shortlisting process, the city will then recommend one or more of those finalists to the Illinois Gaming Board by Oct. 26. That state agency has the final say on issuing a license.