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Midwest,Waukegan and Trilliant Gaming Vie for Lone Illinois Casino License

On December 25th, 2008, once viewed as a source of income that could be worth half a billion dollars and help the state budget, Illinois' lone casino license is being pursued by three gaming organizations for a less amount of money and gaming analysts say that even those numbers may not prosper in the weakening economy. Bill Eadington, the director of a gaming institute at the University of Nevada-Reno said that it is not an appropriate timing for Illinois. He said that the country is facing the biggest economic recession is seventy-five years. He added that he would not be surprised if the companies that made the bids just a few months ago could no longer justify their bids.

The Illinois Gaming Board is expected to review the monetary details when it hears from casino gaming hoping to operate in Des Plaines, Rosemont or Waukegan by utilizing the tenth and final casino license of Illinois. Those three organizations are asking to be dealt in as the gaming industry finds itself dealing with a weakening market. Once driven to expand their presence in places like Chicago, casino organizations are now suffering from dropping stock prizes and the high cost of credit acquired to construct casinos.

Across the U.S. major casino players are walking away from the table. Harrah's Entertainment recently stated financial concerns as the main reasons for backing out of a planned Kansas casino. In Indiana, Nevada-based Eldorado Resorts just backed out of a bid to acquire Casino Aztar in Evansville because of a problem acquiring financing. Eadington said that if bigger casino operators are backing out, then it does not bode well for smaller casino gaming companies that may be affected harder by the worldwide financial crisis-the types of gaming organizations bidding for the casino license in Illinois.

The finalists are Trilliant Gaming, a Los-Angeles based company that has partnered with Rosemont and submitted the bid of $435 million. The next biggest offer is $225 million from Waukegan Gaming. A distant third at $100 million is Midwest Gaming and Entertainment. Midwest is owned by billionaire developer Neil Bluhm's group. Bluhm's group wants to open a casino in Des Plaines.

Those figures do not include the expense of constructing the casino, which can cost hundreds of million of dollars, making it harder to make a profit. The Gaming Board refused to release the details about how the three casino bidder would raise the cash to support their offers. Gaming Board officials have stated that their decision will be based more than the initial offer of the three gaming companies. The three companies have the opportunity to alter their bids.


01 March 2009
News Submitted by:
Jessica Kellerman

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