By CBS 2 Chicago Staff

CHICAGO (CBS) — After Mayor Lori Lightfoot gave potential bidders an extra two months to submit formal plans for building a Chicago casino, the city has received five proposals from three different bidders, and will now begin the process of choosing who will operate the city’s first casino.

The mayor opened up the bidding process for the city’s first casino in April, and four months later extended the deadline by two months, setting a new deadline for Friday.

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Friday afternoon, the mayor’s office said the city had received five bids from three applicants:

  • Bally’s Corporation submitted two proposals for two different sites; its casino operations would be self-managed
  • HR Chicago, LLC submitted a proposal for a single site; its casino operations would be managed by an affiliate, Hard Rock International
  • Rivers Chicago at McCormick, LLC submitted a proposal for a single site; its casino operations would be managed by Rush Street Gaming, LLC
  • Rivers 78 Gaming, LLC submitted a proposal for a single site; its casino operations would be managed by Rush Street Gaming, LLC

A review committee consisting of several city departments will now review the bids and recommend a proposal to the mayor, who will ultimately seek City Council approval for her choice. It’s unclear how soon that will happen, but likely not until early next year.

“We are thrilled to have received five high-caliber proposals from Bally’s Corporation; HR Chicago, LLC; Rivers Chicago at McCormick, LLC; and Rivers 78 Gaming, LLC,” Lightfoot said in a statement. “The submission of bid responses represents a major step toward the thoughtful development of a casino-resort that uplifts our businesses, employs and empowers our residents and encourages tourism. We look forward to the next phase of discussions to bring this world-class entertainment experience to our city.”

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The mayor’s office has said any plans for a Chicago casino-resort must include a hotel with as many as 500 rooms, meeting space, restaurants, bars, and entertainment venues.

“The City is seeking an entertainment and gaming destination to enhance the urban fabric of the surrounding neighborhood,” the mayor’s office said in a news release.

The chosen casino operator also would be authorized to build a temporary gambling operation while the permanent facility is being built. They could also install slot machines at O’Hare and Midway airports before the permanent casino is up and running.

The city expects the permanent casino will be open by 2025. Tax revenue from the casino would be dedicated to the city’s underfunded police and fire pension funds.

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Other requirements for bidders include:

  • 26% minority business enterprise (MBE) participation, 6% women business enterprise (WBE) participation and Chicago-based businesses in the design and construction of the project.
  • 50% of total work hours by City residents and 7.5% of total work hours by residents of the area surrounding the project in the construction of the project.
  • Hiring of employees at the project to assist in building wealth in disadvantaged communities, prioritizing hiring of City residents and achieve a diverse workforce reflecting the overall diversity of the City.
  • Sourcing goods and services during operation of the project to assist in building wealth in disadvantaged communities, prioritizing City-based businesses and maximizing high levels of contracting with MBE and WBE providers and substantial levels of contracting with veteran-owned businesses and businesses owned by persons with a disability.

CBS 2 Chicago Staff