Des Plaines wins 10th Illinois casino license

Dec 26, 2008 7:40 PM
by Kevin Stott |

On Monday, the Illinois Gaming Board voted 3-1 to give the state’s unused casino license to Midwest Gaming & Entertainment, a company that is planning to build a gambling boat in the suburban Chicago town of Des Plaines.

"It will be a fantastic facility," said company chairman Neil Bluhm.

For years, the unused license was languishing in legal limbo. Three separate bids were made for the license: Trilliant Gaming’s at $435 million, Waukegan Gaming at $225 million and Midwest Gaming’s $125 million bid. The winning company’s bid also included an additional $300 million which will be paid around $100 million annually over the next 30 years.

One gaming board member, the Rev. Eugene Winkler, declined to vote for any of the finalists saying, "They, each in their own way are unacceptable."

Trilliant’s idea of locating in the suburb of Rosemont was a big problem according to the Board because they said the community is "tainted" because of rumors of ties to the mafia.

The mayor of Waukegan, whose Waukegan Gaming was passed by, Richard Hyde, blasted the Board’s decision on awarding the license which he was counting on to help speed up the redevelopment of his town.

Members the board reportedly had some reservations about the bid submitted by Waukegan Gaming to build a casino there.