Legal action taken
The city of Waukegan is being sued by the Potawatomi Casino. The lawsuit stems from the city council rejecting a casino proposal to create a gaming venue at the closed Fountain Square shopping center.
Potawatomi Casino’s bid promised the most jobs, but also offered the least amount of money
Last week, the Waukegan city council decided to forward three of four casino proposals to the regulators for consideration. The bid that did not move forward was the one made by the Milwaukee-based Potawatomi.
Potawatomi Casino’s bid promised the most jobs, but also offered the least amount of money to purchase the city-owned site.
The city council reportedly based their decision on which bids to move forward in part due to a report by C.H. Johnson, a city consultant.
Potawatomi Casino’s suit claims that the report contained information about the bid that was misleading. The casino operator wants the court to make the city council reconsider the rejection of the bid.
Waukegan attorney Bob Long stated the suit by the Potawami is “factually and legally invalid”. According to the attorney, the city completed an appraisal on the property. The value came in at the $5.625m mark, which is why the amount was stated in the consultant’s report.
The four bids for the casino build were presented during the September 11 meeting of the city council. According to Long, the three other bidders offered more than $5.625m. When Potawatomi found out about the higher bids, they reportedly started sending letters to try and change their offer.
Long says it would have been unfair to allow bids to be changed. He also hit back at Potawatomi’s claims that they were treated unfairly, stating:
The lawsuit’s claims that we treated them unfairly is bogus. It’s sour grapes.”
Spokesman for the Potawatomi, George Ermert, stated the legal team of the company disputes the comments made by Long. They intend to continue with litigation. The case heads to court on January 24 2020.
The Illinois Gaming Board will hear the three bids from those approved by the city council. The bidders are Full House Resorts, Rivers Casino Waukegan and North Point Casino. The casino for Waukegan is part of a gambling bill passed earlier this year.