After nearly a decade of political and legal debate and an estimated $1.3 billion loss in gambling taxes for the state government, construction of a casino in Des Plaines is finally on its way.
Officials broke ground Friday on the 147,000-square-foot entertainment complex located at the corner of Des Plaines River Road and Devon Avenue.
"We look forward to Des Plaines becoming a state-of-the-art entertainment venue," said Des Plaines Mayor Martin Moylan. "We truly will become a destination city."
The casino is expected to generate revenue of $150 million a year in taxes for the state.
Not only will the casino create millions in revenue for Des Plaines, but it will also create hundreds of construction jobs and at least 1,000 permanent employees will be hired to run the casino, said Neil Bluhm, chairman of Midwest Gaming & Entertainment, the builders of the casino.
Midwest's deal to build requires them to pay a total of $225 million -- $125 million up front and another $130 million over the next 30 years, according to the Sun-Times.
"We're very happy to be taking the check for the $47.5 million that's coming into the state because we're so broke,"
said Rep. Rosemary Mulligan (R-Des Plaines).
Until state lawmakers plan on making more casino licenses available, the Des Plaines casino will be Illinois' 10th and final gaming license.
The casino has yet to be named, but is expected to open late next summer.