Lightfoot Proposes 2 Options for Chicago Casino to Lawmakers

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot is pushing two options for a Chicago casino. One calls for a casino owned by both the city and the state, the other calls for a privately-owned casino.

Lightfoot pitched the proposal to Illinois lawmakers. She said Tuesday either would require the Legislature to approve taxes lower than those written into expanded gambling legislation enacted earlier this year.

A study by Las Vegas-based Union Gaming determined that with an effective tax rate of 72% — including a third of revenue earmarked for city police and firefighter pensions — on top of fees, no developer could secure financing for construction of a casino.

Democratic state Rep. Greg Harris of Chicago says Lightfoot will have a hard time getting a tax change. He says the tax structure for a Chicago casino is part of a package for existing casinos and six new ones.

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