However, not all online gambling options are like that. Michael Bond – who poured thousands of dollars into recent Waukegan elections through his video gambling company Tap Room Gaming – along with Vegas entertainment company Warner Gaming. This company is headed by real estate broker Andrew Hochberg, who also has a stake in Tap Room Gaming – the company led by competing developer Bond of the North Point Casino proposal. The Illinois Gaming Board nixed that proposal because of the group’s ties to William Cellini. He was later convicted of shaking down a Hollywood producer for a campaign contribution to disgraced ex-Gov. The company’s 172-page proposal says they’ll eventually create 1,000 jobs and inject nearly $145 million into the economy.
But they previously disclosed plans for a 1,625-gaming position casino they say will create 1,200 permanent jobs and pump $150 million into the local economy yearly. Potawatomi says they can open by December 2021 with a construction tab topping $343 million and the completed casino eventually creating 2,599 jobs that pump nearly $394 million annually into the local economy, according to their 159-page proposal. Construction on the 75,000 casinos would cost an estimated $275 million to $325 million, and it would eventually rake in upward of $13 million for the suburb every year, the company said. They’ve offered $7 million for the Fountain Square land to build a 38-acre casino complex with 1,380 gaming positions, two bars, several restaurants, outdoor event space, and a “scaled replica of a famous Italian fountain.” The second construction phase would eventually incorporate a dine-in cinema, luxury hotel, and spa boasting a saltwater pool.
The owners of the Potawatomi in Milwaukee want to expand with a Waukegan Potawatomi Casino, a 130,000-square-foot situs poker online behemoth with 1,850 gaming positions, three restaurants, and a food court. The plan calls for a 5,300-square-foot sportsbook, a 2-acre outdoor theater, five restaurants, including an upscale steakhouse and a smoking patio. The plan also calls for a sportsbook, poker room, and Luxbar, an “upscale gastropub” part of Gibsons Restaurant Group. Instead of building a hotel, they plan to “create strategic alliances” with existing ones. The second development phase would include a hotel, ballroom, conference center, and a retail entertainment district. Headed by Chicago-area real-estate developers Alan Ludwig and Richard Stein, Waukegan Gaming LLC has taken the city to court, claiming the new Waukegan casino license should automatically go to them because of a development contract both sides signed in 2004, the last time Waukegan was in the running for a casino license.