Chicago Launches Public Poll on Location of City’s First-Ever Casino

  • Survey asking for location preferences for first-ever casino in Chicago
  • Initial results to be issued next month, survey open through fall
  • Chicago Mayor gave Gaming Board a list of five sites for consideration
detail of Chicago city's architecture
The City of Chicago has posted a survey so residents can weigh in on possible locations for the very first casino building.

Survey about characteristics, not specific locations

Chicago City Hall and Mayor Lori Lightfoot posted a public survey on Friday to gather input from local residents on where they think the city’s first casino should be.

The casino was approved as part of a $45 billion capital plan – which included gambling expansion.

The casino was approved as part of a $45 billion capital plan – which included gambling expansion – that was signed by Governor J.B. Pritzker a month ago. Mayor Lightfoot had promised to give the people a say in what would happen with the casino.

The survey is being hosted on SurveyMonkey and consists of eleven short questions. Respondents can choose up to three possible locations from a list of fourteen. The areas identified are general ones, and include “near downtown”, “near Lake Michigan”, and “near tourists”.

The survey poll also asks what factors are considered important in a location, such as “walkability”, “easily accessible by car”, and even “minimizes disruption to natural environment”.

Respondents can select from a drop-down list containing local Chicago zip codes as well as an “other” option. Ten of the questions asked have finite answer options, while one question allows respondents to “share additional comments”. Those who complete the survey will also be asked to provide their age, but no personally identifying information is being requested.

Mayor aims for maximum survey participation

The City of Chicago plans to leave the survey up through the fall, although it will publish initial results in August. Mayor Lightfoot wants as many people to participate as possible, so the survey will be posted in multiple languages, including Arabic, English, Hindi, Mandarin, Polish, and Spanish.

We are committed to a transparent process for ensuring all voices can be heard.”

Residents who do not have computers can complete the survey at their local public library in the Chicago area. The City will also host community forums to hear more suggestions on the casino’s location and its development.

“While the prospect of a new casino holds tremendous potential for generating new revenues and stimulating economic opportunity for Chicago, we are committed to a transparent process for ensuring all voices can be heard as the City moves forward on this historic project,” said the Mayor in a press release.

Location shortlist already being studied

Mayor Lightfoot has already recommended that the Illinois Gaming Board study five potential locations on Chicago’s South and West sides. These are the Harborside International Golf Center site at 111th and the Bishop Ford Freeway, Roosevelt Road and Kostner Avenue, the former Michael Reese hospital at 31st Street and Cottage Grove Avenue, the former U.S. Steel parcel at 80th Street and Lake Shore Drive, and Pershing Road and State Street. She has emphasized that this list is not conclusive, so residents should not get too concerned about the specific locations.

A couple of other areas closer to downtown, Navy Pier and McCormick Place East, are not on Mayor Lightfoot’s list because of protests from tourism and convention stakeholders. Yet these are still possibilities that are favored by plenty of people in view of the possible tax revenue that could go to Chicago’s fire and police departments.

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