Study says Chicago casino wouldn’t be profitable

CHICAGO — A consultant has determined that a casino in Chicago would not be profitable enough.

The study by Union Gaming Analytics released Tuesday concludes that Illinois casino tax and fee structures are too "onerous" to allow a developer to make more than 1% or 2% profit.

Casino gambling in Chicago was authorized this year by the General Assembly. A Chicago casino operator would have to pay a $250,000 application fee upfront, a $15 million "reconciliation" fee when the license is issued and up to $120 million in gambling position fees.

The study found a Chicago casino would bring $260 million in revenue back from Indiana.

It also estimates 500 slot machines could be deployed at Chicago O’Hare International Airport and Chicago Midway International Airport, and would pay out roughly $200 a day. At that rate, slot machines could make $37 million a year.

The Illinois Gaming Board has the authority to ask lawmakers in the next 90 days to change the terms for the Chicago site.

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