By BENJAMIN YOUNT for the ILLINOIS RADIO NETWORK
SPRINGFIELD, IL. (IRN) — Illinois’ new gambling expansion is barely two weeks old, but the state is already behind schedule.
Illinois lawmakers intentionally set the state on a fast track to open casinos in Chicago, Rockford, Waukegan, the south suburbs, Danville, and in southern Illinois.
But the state is not keeping up the pace.
The state should have named a firm to study a Chicago casino this week. That hasn’t happened. Gov. J.B. Pritzker said it will, eventually.
“Nothing is going to happen until licenses are issued. And that is going to happen in due course,” Pritzker told reporters in Chicago on Wednesday. “We obviously need to start with the Gaming Board, we need to make sure that the study is underway for the city of Chicago. But remember, that’s just one component of the gaming bill.”
The study requires a firm to figure out the best way to move forward with a Chicago casino and to suggest where the casino will be built.
“There are CMS requirements for the state. You have to go out and bid it out and so. And that’s all happening right now,” Pritzker said.
The governor also has not named new Gaming Board members. He said that will happen soon.
“We’ll be making announcements about the members and the chair of the Gaming Board as soon as we can,” Pritzker said.
The deadline to start moving on the new casinos outside of Chicago is in October.