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Chicago Casino May Face Less Onerous Taxation

  • Written By Kevin Parker
  • Edited
  • Reading 6 minutes

While a previously-proposed law on taxing Chicago’s planned casino with an onerous 72% levy on the facility’s gross gaming revenue (GGR) was interpreted as bad for business, there may be some reasons for optimism. 

The assessment comes by Union Gaming Analytics, a Las Vegas consulting firm that previously thought that the same tax would spell a disaster for the casino project. 

With a proposed reduction of the tax from the gut-wrenching 72% to 40%, however, Union Gaming Analytics believes that developers and investors would be much better inclined to invest in the upcoming project.

UGA believes that the favorable taxation measure passed in May should be “attractive enough” and bring about positive changes. Based on an updated report, the decision of Gov. J.B. Pritzker to lower the levy on the upcoming Chicago project, Pritzker has given the city an important additional source of tax revenue to look forward to.

The report produced by UGA also suggests that the Illinois Gaming Board will approve the project at some point in 2021, and an opening will follow in 2025. Meanwhile, Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s office has said that the city is currently reviewing the report but didn’t offer any comment.

Mohegan Sun to Lay off Workers Due to Redundancies 

Mohegan Sun has said that employees who haven’t returned to work by the end of next month will most likely be laid off due to redundancies. The company released a statement on Thursday explaining the delicate situation with the workforce.

Mohegan Sun stated that it was doing everything in its power to bring back furloughed workers, but those who haven’t been recalled would have to be laid off permanently at the end of September.  

The company had to furlough its entire workforce back in mid-March, joining many other hospitality and entertainment businesses that did the same. Mohegan Sun assured that it was working closely with employees to make sure that team members can be brought back to work in some capacity, but cautioned that layoffs would occur regardless.

Mohegan Sun said that the company had got to the point where it could not promise anything to their employees in terms of whether furloughed workers would be able to return back to work soon or even if ever, the statement read. 

American Gaming Associations Foresees Long Road to Recover

The American Gaming Association compiled new data and reported a 79% decline in second-quarter revenues across commercial casinos in the United States. Apart from posting the rather gloom numbers, chief executive Bill Miller argued that the industry has to prepare for recovery, which is in all likelihood going to be long and arduous, by adopting new, innovative experiences that consumers will seek in the wake of COVID-19.

AGA said that 388 out of 465 commercial casinos in the United States had reopened by the end of the second quarter and that many states that had online gambling up and running posted better results than the average for the country.

Miller said that casinos should consider online gaming products as an alternative and endorse cashless payment options, a measure touted by AGA for a few months now. Even though the recovery was bound to be difficult and not entirely straightforward, Miller did say that consumer behaviors remained focused on local betting venues, giving the domestic industry a strong chance of recovering quickly, courtesy of patrons who wouldn’t mind driving to a local gaming venue. 

William Hill Bolsters Presence in Nevada and the United States

If things have been rather rough for William Hill back in Europe and the United Kingdom, the company has been pushing on with its expansion in the United States just fine. The company is now acquiring six casinos on or near the Las Vegas Strip as a result of the purchase of CG Technologies, which began last year.

Furthermore, William Hill will also assume control over 11 additional sportsbooks in Nevada as part of a partnership struck between Eldorado Resorts and the company. Eldorado will now have a 20% stake in William Hill. In exchange, William Hill will be able to operate the sportsbooks previously ran by Caesars Entertainment, the company with which Eldorado Resorts merged earlier this year in July. 

William Hill continues to grow its business in the United States with 120 race and sportsbooks currently available throughout the country. 

MGM Resorts Founder Kirk Kerkorian Donates $2m to Help Employees

Kirk Kerkorian’s estate has donated $2 million to MGM Resorts International employees economically impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. Kerkorian is the company’s founder and has been engaging in various philanthropic activities throughout the years.

So far, the MGM Resorts Foundation’s Employee Emergency Grant Fund has donated an estimated $11 million to employees and their families to help them through the difficult economic transition. 

MGM was one of the first companies to furlough the majority of its workforce. While Las Vegas Sands Corp. has kept everyone onboard and intends to do so until at least October, MGM Resorts let-go of its 63,000-strong workforce in March, furloughing all employees bar a few mission-critical employees needed to maintain the company’s operations and prepare for a return to normality.

MGM Resorts has also reopened several properties since March, including Park MGM and The Mirage in Las Vegas, Empire City Casino, in New York. The company is slowly recovering, as is the entire sector.

Massachusetts Won’t Restore Craps and Roulette at Casinos Just Yet         

While many have seen a silver lining for Massachusetts’ table games segment, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission has ruled out against the reintroduction of craps and roulette games back at the Encore Boston Harbor and MGM Springfield, the two casinos that have requested for the reestablishment of table games.

However, the MGC didn’t find sufficient evidence that the reintroduction of table games wouldn’t put patrons and staff members at a higher risk of infection with COVID-19. For the time being, both properties will have to forego table games as per the reopening health and safety guidelines. 

Kevin was raised on sports since a young teen and following a (fortunate) injury pursued new hobbies in table games such as Blackjack and Poker. Since 2009 Kevin has been writing for casino sites for various big names in the industry and CasinoSites.us is but one of his latest passion projects.