Business News

Gaming operators Churchill Downs Inc. (CDI) and Rush Street Gaming are proposing to open a new casino in Waukegan, Illinois, under the state’s recently enacted gaming expansion bill.

The gaming expansion bill signed by Governor J. B. Pritzker in July allows for six new casinos in Illinois and also legalised sports betting at casinos, racetracks, sports venues and online.

CDI and Rush Street, who already operate the state's most successful casino, Rivers Casino Des Plaines, have proposed to build a 1,625-gaming-seat Rivers Casino Waukegan with a poker room and on-property and online sportsbook.

The company’s said that the proposed casino would create over 1,200 permanent jobs, 900 union construction jobs, and deliver over $150m annually to the local Waukegan and Lake County economy.

"We're happy to be considered to develop and operate what we know will be a leading entertainment destination for the City of Waukegan, Lake County and the State of Illinois," said Rush Street Gaming CEO Greg Carlin. "It would be an honor to bring the Rivers brand and experience to Waukegan."

Neil Bluhm, chair of Rush Street Gaming, added: "We are especially proud of our long history of hiring local people and vendors in every market where we have invested. Rush Street spends more than $23 million dollars annually on firms owned by women and minorities.

"Waukegan and Lake County deserve a world-class facility and together, with our partner Churchill Downs Incorporated, that is exactly what we will develop."

Bill Carstanjen, chief executive of CDI, commented: "Churchill Downs Incorporated has a 145-year track record of offering unmatched premium entertainment experiences for horse racing fans and significant expertise developing premier casino venues for our patrons throughout the United States.

"We are proud to partner with Rush Street Gaming to bring our shared vision for a world-class entertainment destination to Waukegan."

Shares in Churchill Downs Incorporated (NSQ:CHDN) closed up 2.10 per cent at $124.00 per share in New York Thursday.