Hawthorne Racecourse Casino Remains Unsolved, But Downstate Project Moves Forward


Plans to build a casino at Hawthorne Racecourse in the western suburbs remain unresolved, and officials said Thursday that they are still trying to finance the project.

General contractor Pepper Construction demolished much of the interior and front glass of Hawthorne’s grandstands in preparation for building a casino with views of Stickney Racecourse.

But inflation, high interest rates, supply disruptions, the COVID-19 pandemic, the war in Ukraine, and market volatility have forced Hawthorne’s gaming division CEO Kevin Kline to join the Illinois Gaming Commission. , said the truck was unable to raise funds. for trading.

The project is now “shovel ready” for a 14-month renovation once funding is finalized, he said.

Last year, Truck President Tim Carey said construction would begin by the end of 2022.

Gaming Commission members had no questions or comments about the project.

The board gave preliminary approval in 2020, and although the plan originally called for a “best in class” $400 million racetrack and casino, or “Lacino,” to open in 2021, the first Fundraising has failed.

In 2019, Hawthorne announced plans to build a new Southern Suburban racetrack and casino with video game operator and property developer Rick Hydner. But Gov. J.B. Pritzker canceled those plans after a Tribune investigation revealed Mr. Hydner’s longstanding dealings with a banker with alleged mob ties to the bookmaker he was convicted of. Canceled.

afternoon briefing

every day

The top stories selected by the editors of the Chicago Tribune are delivered to your inbox every afternoon.

By contrast, the former Fairmount Park racetrack in Downstate Collinsville, now called Fun Duel Sportsbook and Horse Racing, will begin construction on a casino this summer, with a view to opening by the end of 2024. announced plans to

Hawthorne Racecourse, Stickney, December 16, 2022.

Plans call for the renovation and expansion of 16,000 square feet of the clubhouse, initially retaining up to 600 slot and table game positions, said regulatory compliance officer Lynne Marburger.

A planned second phase will add 17,000 square feet for up to 900 game positions. Officials plan to submit financial and construction plans to the Gaming Commission “soon,” Marburger said.

Meanwhile, other companies have successfully built new casinos in Chicago, Waukegan, East Hazel Crest and Danville.

Temporary casinos have opened in Waukegan and Rockford, and existing casinos in Aurora and Joliet have announced plans to build new replacement casinos in their respective cities.

Hawthorne has opened a new PointsBet sportsbook at its track and three off-track betting parlors and has resumed thoroughbred racing this month with plans to switch to harness racing in September.


What do you think?

Written by Natalia Chi

Chicago Popular; Chicago breaking news, weather and live video. Covering local politics, health, traffic and sports for Chicago, the suburbs and northwest Indiana.

Leave a Reply

Is gold a good investment?

So far so good: White Sox relatively healthy and nearing camp finish line