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Suitors For a Waukegan Casino is Down to Four

Suitors For a Waukegan Casino is Down to Four

Expansion of both land-based casino properties and real money online casino sites is driving industry growth. However, not every casino plan makes it past the drawing board. Sometimes the best ideas for new and exciting venues simply stay ideas and not reality. The Chicago Tribune’s online version, recent detailed the casino situation in Lake County and more specifically Waukegan, Illinois.

What Suitors For Waukegan Casinos Are Left?

The proposed Casino Fontana in Waukegan would have been something to see. The plans called for 91,000 square feet of casino space. There were going to be 1,300 slot machines and 30 table games. Included in the resort-style design were multiple dining options, bars and a food court.

The Italian-themed casino venue was the brainchild of Waukegan Development Associates. The building site was 10 acres neighboring a city-owned site. A few days ago, the developer sent a letter to city officials to take the group’s bid off the table.

This was just a week after the company made its pitch for the proposed casino in a four-hour public hearing. As part of the development process, it had been actively involved in the city’s vetting process. This also includes using a consulting firm as a liaison.

Full And Open Participation Process

Next Reality Chief Executive Officer Andrew Hochberg’s company was part of development team. He was quoted in the letter to city officials. He stated that the group’s “full and open participation in the process, including and especially the public hearing” was a factor. He also said this led them to “fully evaluate this opportunity.” It also lead to the decision to withdraw from the process.

The hearing also was marked by several key city influences holding back support for the Waukegan Development Associates’ proposal. This included several Waukegan aldermen and two are city mayors. Support from this group was given to other potential casino projects.

Mr. Hochberg was questioned about his current ties to Tap Room Gaming. This is a Lake County-based video gambling company. It is led by former Illinois state Sen. Michael Bond. Bond made several sizable donations to particular aldermen for the recent election.

Chesapeake Gaming And Waukegan Development Associates

Robert King along with Chesapeake Gaming were other principals with Waukegan Development Associates. Hochberg emailed a local news source that their team had “determined that we should concentrate our resources on other business ventures and opportunities.”

He went on to add that Waukegan Development Associates is made up of a “group of professionals and business owners.”

He added “…who, individually and collectively, are constantly assessing myriad factors to determine the best course of action in pursuing and executing business opportunities.” This pertains to “whether that is a casino or other projects and initiatives.”

As far as the 10-acre site, Hochberg said that Next Reality is “designing and formulating development plans for the site.” He mentioned that this process was independent of a casino.

The other proposals for a Waukegan casino number four at this point. One area of interest is a 32-acre city-owned site at the Fountain Square shopping complex. It sits between the boundaries of District 50 and District 121 in Lake County.

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Suitors For a Waukegan Casino is Down to Four
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Suitors For a Waukegan Casino is Down to Four
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Expansion of both land-based casino properties and real money online casino sites is driving industry growth. However, not every casino plan makes it past the drawing board. Sometimes the best ideas for new and exciting venues simply stay ideas and not reality.
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Easy Mobile Casino
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