The idea of building a state-owned casino in Chicago is getting a mixed reaction. At the first Illinois House hearing on the new gambling expansion plan Wednesday, supporters of the plan promised that a downtown Chicago casino would bring in lots of money for the state. “Our sense is this would produce anywhere in excess of $5 (billion) or $6 billion in additional revenue and 17,000 jobs,” said Kim Goluska, a member of the board of directors of the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce.
Goluska says besides revenue from the casino itself, extra tax revenue would be generated through boosting tourism. But Tom Swoik, executive director of Illinois Casino Gaming Association, says supporters like Goluska are making promises they can’t keep. “A 10,000 position casino would be the largest casino in the world,” Swoik said. “No state, including Nevada or New Jersey, has attempted such a massive project.”
Swoik’s association represents six of the state’s existing casinos. He claims this legislation ignores the decline in revenue at those facilities, and says a Chicago casino would add to an already saturated market.