MGM Resorts Will Not Apply For Chicago Casino License

Company Cites Logistics And Taxes As Reasons

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There has been lots of talks around MGM Resorts, and the available Chicago Casino License. Lots of industry experts have gone on record to state that the company will be one of the select few to apply for the casino license in Chicago. However, the big national operator has withdrawn its name from the race citing logistical issues and high taxes.  

MGM Resorts quickly squashed any news about the possibility of joining the race to apply for a casino in Chicago, after the city published its Request for Proposal for potential suitors. 

In a meeting with MGM Resorts CEO Bill Hornbuckle , Jonathan Halkyard, the CFO mentioned that Chicago is not among the locations the group would like to build casinos. He mentioned the likes of Japan, Georgia, Florida, Texas, Japan and New York, have more favorable conditions than Chicago. 

“The history there in Chicago, the tax and the notion of integrated resort at scale don’t necessarily marry up,” Halkyard said. “And while I think they’ve had some improvement, we’re not overly keen or focused at this point in time there.”

MGM Resorts was widely expected to be at the forefront of the application process. The group recently projected $1 billion in net revenue for next year. 

Application Process 

The deadline for applicants to submit their proposals in response to the city’s Request For Proposal is August 23. 

Mind you, MGM Resorts already has a casino in the Midwest region. The Detroit-based casino also deputizes as a sportsbook and it has grown in popularity in recent times. The casino is a leader in iGaming in Michigan, and a strong player in Indiana when it comes to sports betting. 

Chicago’s Mayor Loring Lightfoot is the main voice pushing for a casino in the area, which is one of the six places granted licenses for gaming and sports betting in Illinois in 2019. She played a key role in revising the tax rates. 

Many people in the industry consider Chicago to be an undeserving market when compared to other prime locations. The stipulated grand opening slated for 2025 will have lots of competitions. The likes of Rivers Casino, and Hard Rock Casino will be less than 60 minutes drive from Chicago.