Chicago on line casino magnate Neil Bluhm has lined up a group of blue-ribbon lobbyists to attempt to persuade the Metropolis Council to not raise the ban on sports activities betting in Chicago.
On Monday, Bluhm is poised to make the argument himself throughout a subject listening to on sports activities betting in Chicago. It’s the political equal of a heavyweight boxing match that has pitted Chicago sports activities group homeowners towards these vying to construct a Chicago on line casino.
Bluhm’s curiosity in blocking the ordinance is two-fold. His Rush Road Gaming firm is a part of two separate teams vying to construct a Chicago on line casino.
And his Des Plaines-based Rivers On line casino already has a sports activities e book that stands to lose enterprise if sports activities betting is legalized in Chicago.
Bluhm has personally registered as a lobbyist and lined up a high-powered group of lobbyists to hitch him in attempting to kill or, on the very least stall the sports activities betting ordinance championed by Ald. Walter Burnett (twenty seventh), whose ward contains the United Middle.
These lobbyists embrace: John Dunn, who spent eight years as intergovernmental affairs director for former Mayor Richard M. Daley; former Ald. LaTasha Thomas (seventeenth); Mike Houlihan, son of former Prepare dinner County Assessor Jim Houlihan; Patrick Carey; Rolando Acosta and Patrick Carey.
Two months in the past, the Chicago Sun-Times reported that John R. Daley — son of Prepare dinner County Commissioner John Daley and a nephew of former Mayor Richard M. Daley — is working as a lobbyist for the White Sox because the group, appearing in live performance with the Cubs, Bears, Blackhawks and Bulls, pushes for the Metropolis Council to let all of them open sports activities wagering amenities at or close to their stadiums.
That’s despite the fact that John R. Daley’s first cousin Ald. Patrick Daley Thompson represents the household’s political base, the South Aspect’s eleventh Ward that’s house to the Sox ballpark, Assured Fee Subject. Sources say one other lobbyist, not Daley, has been assigned to foyer the alderman on behalf of the Sox.
Thompson — a grandson and nephew of Chicago’s two longest-serving mayors — has been supportive of the proposal to permit sports activities betting at stadiums and arenas in discussions with fellow aldermen, lobbyists and others in latest months, sources say.
The roster of high-powered lobbyists representing the Blackhawks, the United Middle or the Wirtz household additionally contains: Mike Noonan; former metropolis company counsel Mara Georges; Amy Degnan; Man Chipparoni; Richard Velasquez, Ken Sawyer and Gyata Kimmons.
Sports activities moguls laid out their argument to raise the Chicago ban on sports activities betting in a flier distributed to aldermen upfront of Monday’s listening to.
It estimates that “direct and oblique tax income to the state, county and metropolis from sports activities wagering” would “exceed $79 million yearly.”
“With out motion, Chicago would proceed to lose patrons to sports activities wagering amenities exterior town limits or make the most of cell betting providers,” the flier states.
“Town would additionally miss out on incremental job creation in addition to incidental meals, beverage and amusement tax revenues.”
Mayor Lori Lightfoot has expressed concern that lifting the Chicago ban on sports activities betting might “cannibalize” the Chicago on line casino that has eluded her predecessors for many years.
That’s apparently why the Chicago Park District refused to interact in good religion discussions with the Chicago Bears on their year-long request to create a mecca for sports activities betting close to Soldier Subject.
The spurned request is but one more reason why the group has signed an settlement to buy the 326-acre website of the now-shuttered Arlington Worldwide Racecourse for $197.2 million.
Bluhm’s firm signaled it was all-in on a Chicago proposal final month when it pulled out of the running for another new casino slated to interrupt floor in Waukegan.
He has lengthy been thought of a shoo-in to use for town on line casino license, given his success operating the state’s most profitable playing mecca, Rivers On line casino in Des Plaines — along with his shut ties to the mayor. Lightfoot has acquired more than $200,000 in campaign contributions from Bluhm’s daughter Leslie and her sister Meredith Bluhm-Wolf.
Bluhm is a key participant within the improvement group that seeks to open a short lived, then everlasting Chicago on line casino on the McCormick Place Lakeside Middle after including 2,000 parking areas making “important capital enhancements” to that getting older and seldom-used facility.
That plan would require the event group to safe a “very long-term floor lease” with the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority, which owns McCormick Place.
Bluhm’s second hand within the Chicago on line casino sport is a partnership with improvement agency Associated Midwest as Rivers 78 Gaming LLC. That proposal goals to interrupt floor throughout the 62 vacant South Loop acres close to Roosevelt Street and Clark Road. Specifics on that proposal have but to be introduced.
The Cubs have cast a $100 million partnership with DraftKings that might pave the way in which for Wrigley Subject to accommodate the primary stadium sportsbook in Main League Baseball. However, it could possibly’t occur until the Metropolis Council lifts the ban on sports activities betting in Chicago.
Burnett’s ordinance would just do that.
Beneath the plan, sports activities betting could be licensed at Wrigley Subject, Assured Fee Subject, Soldier Subject, the United Middle and Wintrust Enviornment or in a “everlasting constructing or construction positioned inside a five-block radius” of these stadiums.
Sports activities wagering would even be licensed inside inter-track wagering amenities and inside a Chicago on line casino,
Not more than 15 kiosks or wagering home windows could be allowed at every location until bettors can even buy food and drinks.
Nobody beneath age 21 could be allowed to position a guess. Sports activities wagering could be prohibited from midnight to 10 a.m., Monday by means of Thursday; midnight Friday to 9 a.m. Saturday; and 1 a.m. to 9 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
Town would subject two sorts of sports activities wagering licenses: “major” and “secondary.” Major sports activities licenses would begin at $50,000 a yr and price $25,000 for annual renewal. Secondary sports activities licenses would begin at $10,000, with an annual renewal price of $5,000.
On the day Burnett launched the ordinance, Lightfoot described sports activities betting as “the legislation of our state.” She stated she didn’t consider sports activities betting would “undercut our efforts on a future on line casino and we’re gonna guarantee that it doesn’t.”