The Illinois Gaming Board has received seven bids—from $60 million to $435 million—for the state’s 10th casino license, according to published reports, and among the bidders is the estate of late Hawthorne Race Course owner Thomas Carey. The intention would be to build the casino at the race track in Stickney.
The $435 million top bid came from Trilliant Gaming Illinois LLC, which would locate the casino in the suburb of Rosemont. It was the community of Rosemont which was originally slated to get the 10th casino in 2001. But the license for Emerald Casino Inc. was eventually denied by the Illinois Gaming Board amid allegations of mob ties. Isle Of Capri Casinos Inc. offered $518 million to buy the Emerald license in 2004, but a year later, after an investigation by the state’s Attorney General’s office, the license was revoked and the bidding process was restarted.
Under the legislation for the 10th casino is the provision that 15 percent of the average gross revenue would be distributed to the state’s horse racing industry.
According to the newspaper accounts, the Illinois Gaming Board plans to narrow the choices to three, perhaps as early as next month, and from those three make the final selection before the end of the year.
The Stickney bid, which was for $150 million, includes the partnership of former Empress and Horseshoe Casinos president Joe Canfora, Altium Development Group, Merit Management Group and the Carey estate. Another reported investor is
Plans reportedly call for a $500 million water park, theater and resort plan.