Finalists pitch Waukegan officials on casino proposals

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WAUKEGAN, Ill. – The six finalists for who will open the first casino in Waukegan pitched city officials on Wednesday.

Officials spent four hours listening to plans from prospective casino developers hoping to land the deal.

Each proposal included the number of jobs, projected gaming revenue and more. Some of them even included helipads, villas, saltwater pools and concert halls.

Due to many calls before the hearing, officials moved it from city hall to the historic Genesee Theater.

Rivers Casino in Des Plaines bused in around 50 of its 1400 employees because developers are eyeing Waukegan as the state's second Rivers location.

Local businesses, like Quonset Pizza, hope to be included in the winning proposal.

"We have come this far and this could be a good opportunity for us... to expand our business and get more local jobs," Quonset Pizza co-owner Jeremiah Johnson said.

Johnson said Quonset would bring at least 20 jobs to the casino.

Waukegan will vote on this soon, then it will move to the State Gaming Board. A new license could get awarded by the end of the year.

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