Residents in Chicago’s South Loop are concerned about the Rivers 78 casino project.

Rivers 78 project Chicago skyline

The mayor will choose one finalist from the three potential Rivers 78 project bidders on the table.

Residents in Chicago’s South Loop have expressed worry over Rivers 78, the city’s newest possible casino development project. According to Debbie Liu, co-chair of the 78 Community Advisory Council, 78 percent of the 400 people who responded to a poll oppose the casino’s construction.

Rivers 78, Hard Rock Chicago, and Bally’s Corporation are three potential bidders for a new casino that the city is considering.

Lori Lightfoot, the mayor of Chicago, has formed a city council to narrow down the applications to one finalist. Once nominated, the winning bidder would need to apply for state authority to develop.

The potential for more crime in the neighbourhood, higher local traffic, and the threat of gambling addiction have all been mentioned against the other bidders.

Local teenagers raised some objections.

“A casino in my community isn’t going to help me,” remarked an 11-year-old resident. “How can I feel comfortable as a kid if you’re building a casino next door?”

According to another South Loop homeowner, “We don’t need a casino to build a wonderful community-oriented development at the 78.”

According to Liu, the city should take its time with the selection process: “so that all stakeholders can better grasp each proposal” and claimed that the idea contradicted the land’s original objective.

The Rivers 78 team, on the other hand, maintained that the new casino would help the neighbourhood and enhance tourism. Because of plans to extend the Chicago Riverwalk to Ping Tom Park and build a 300-room hotel and a 1,078-foot observation tower, the team argued that its $1.6 billion offer stood out from the other two.

Curt Bailey, the president of the Midwest, dubbed it “Chicago’s Eiffel Tower.”

Bailey explained, “We’re building an entire neighbourhood from the ground up.” “We’re moving the tourism epicentre of Chicago south.”

Rivers 78 is expected to generate the least amount of tax income for the city of the three existing proposals if authorised. Rivers 78 is expected to earn $174.2 million in city tax income, a decline from the previous year.

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