How much revenue will the casino generate? What will it look like? How long might the development take? How will revenue sharing pan out?
Those were some of the questions residents brought with them to a casino development informational meeting at the Irwin Center on Monday.
And those questions will definitely get an answer—later.
It’s not because anyone’s withholding information. Rather, many of these details will emerge once the request for proposals (RFP) process begins, according to Craig Burkhardt, an attorney with the village's casino development lawfirm Barnes & Thornburg LLP.
For those of you who feel your concerns haven’t been heard or addressed yet, there will be time for that later, Burkhardt said. Public statements are a requirement in the RFP process, but the village has yet to decided how to go about collecting them, according to Village Manager Jim Marino.
The RFP process will not start until gambling legislation passes, although Burkhardt says that could happen as soon as the first week of January. He's been following gambling legislation closely in Springfield. Past examples of preliminary gambling legislation success in congress and increasingly specific revision requests from Gov. Pat Quinn suggest the bill will pass, he says.
"It becomes very very well understood that this bill ... with a South Suburban casino in it ... is going to become law," Burkhardt said.
The village did preview some of the perks of a new casino, including the addition of 1,000 full-time jobs, increased cash flow to public safety and a premier South Suburban hotel.
Check back with Patch later for more information on Monday night's meeting.