Chicago gambles on transformative casinoMuhammad Cohen

Chicago gambles on transformative casinoMuhammad Cohen

Rush Street Gaming’s Rivers 78, in a new riverside neighborhood, is among three finalists for a Chicago casino license. Hard Rock and Bally’s have proposal similarly ambitious projects. (Graphic provided by Rush Street Gaming)

The Windy City isn’t blowing its casino opportunity. The long running saga took another turn when Chicago chose three finalists for its casino license.

The city eliminated two proposals that built on the success of its McCormick Place convention center. Instead, Chicago opted for projects that would introduce new landmarks to the urban landscape.

I’ve been urging a similar approach for New York’s downstate casino opportunity, encouraging an iconic development that makes New York City a more attractive destination for residents and visitors and maximizes new investment and employment. Adding live table games to New York’s two current downstate electronic gaming facilities at race tracks would likely dampen enthusiasm for the region’s third license and lengthen the odds of creating a casino worthy of the largest city in the US.

When it comes to casino development, downstate New York has a better hand than Chicago. But winning often depends on how you play your cards.

Former US diplomat and broadcast news producer Muhammad Cohen is a columnist for ICE 365, a contributor to Forbes, columnist/correspondent for Asia Times, and author of Hong Kong On Air, a novel set in his adopted hometown during the 1997 handover about television news, love, betrayal, high finance, and cheap lingerie. See his bio, online archive and more at; follow him on Facebook, Twitter @MuhammadCohen and LinkedIn.

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