Mayor Gonzalez Hints at Future Chicago Heights Casino Plan

Despite Gov. Pat Quinn vetoing the gaming bill, several towns are putting together plans for a casino. Chicago Heights could be one of them.

Homewood, East Hazel Crest and Country Club Hills have casino on their brains, putting together comprehensive plans to bring "gaming and entertainment" to their section of the South Suburbs.

Chicago Heights has been somewhat quite on the matter, but one should not count the city out, according to Mayor David Gonzalez.

"There's going to be a lot of South Suburban municipalities wanting to host a casino, including Chicago Heights," Gonzalez said, adding that its far too early to make officials plans for a Casino. 

Read: Homewood Schedules Dec. 17 Public Casino Meeting

Gov. Pat Quinn vetoed a gaming bill in August, stating that pension reform was a much more urgent issue than gambling. Any new gaming bill will have to be introduced next year, in the 98th General Assembly Spring Session. 

"I think we're waiting to see what the bills going to be," Gonzalez said. "It's hard to move forward until you know."

Heights Corporation Counsel T.J. Somer seconded Gonzalez with a similar "wait and see" response. 

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David December 12, 2012 at 03:27 PM
Quote the right quote. Our Mayor said "There's going to be a lot of South Suburban municipalities wanting to host a casino, including Chicago Heights," which makes it clear that he thinks it will become a priority for the Heights in the future. Sure it was probably in response to a "leading" question, but that's called being a journalist. Reporters ask questions. It's their job to get information from people. Chris did that. As far as the rest of your response, I agree that the Homewood site is probably more enticing to a Casino developer, being right off of I-80 at Halsted. I don't see a casino developer coming to Chicago Heights either. Maybe west of I-394 on Route 30, but that's in Ford Heights. The mayor's best bet is to work out a profit-sharing agreement for the location in Ford Heights. No other location in Chicago Heights proper seems suitable.
Christopher Paicely December 12, 2012 at 03:56 PM
Just to be clear, Annonymous, I asked the mayor what he thought about Homewood putting together a plan for the casino. He responded that they were waiting to see what the bill was going to be, followed by "There's going to be a lot of South Suburban municipalities wanting to host a casino, including Chicago Heights." He didn't formally announce any plans, but did allude to Chicago Heights "wanting to host a casino." I took that as a hint of things to come, hence the headline.
Myles Long December 12, 2012 at 06:33 PM
David. Based on what one would see driving down route 30, I don't think the Heights stands a chance in landing a casino and entertainment complex. Developers like to build these establishments in nice communities like Homewood. "Maybe west of I-394 on Route 30? Sure, they can put it right next to the strip clubs and hire all of the Ford Heights crackheads for valet duty. A casino would only serve to attract more undesirable business like pawn shops and cash advance joints and god knows there's already enough of those on Lincoln highway and Western Avenue.
David December 12, 2012 at 08:13 PM
Have you driven around the casinos in Gary or East Chicago? Casino developers don't care what the surrounding neighborhood is like. Their thoughts range from "If we build it, the surrounding neighborhood will improve" (Joliet, Aurora) to "If we build it secure enough, it doesn't matter what the neighborhood does."
Winston Wolf December 13, 2012 at 03:24 AM
This mayor is ambitious and forward-thinking. The negative comments remind me of the Joe Faso campaign, and the kind of bitterness that this city does NOT need. We are in good hands with Mayor David Gonzalez!


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