International edition
August 22, 2019

Besides two proposals submitted last week, at least two other groups would follow

Illinois: Danville casino proposals' deadline pushed to August 21

Illinois: Danville casino proposals' deadline pushed to August 21
Danville Mayor Rickey Williams Jr. said he's aware that at least two other groups would still like to submit proposals, which is why he supported the deadline extension.
United States | 08/13/2019

A council-approved developer has until October 28 to submit a final proposal to the Illinois Gaming Board to get a casino license. Therefore, local officials prefer a site that can be assembled quickly with all the zoning and other necessary requirements like utilities in place.

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mid a debate over the potential site of a new casino in Danville, Mayor Rickey Williams Jr. announced August 6 that the deadline to submit proposals to develop that casino is being pushed to August 21.

The city council later voted to endorse the new deadline after a long debate that covered a lot of ground, including competing thoughts over its location and the developer-selection process, and even allegations of the “appearance” of impropriety in the process.

Williams said just two development proposals were submitted by last week’s deadline to the local steering committee charged with reviewing them and recommending a finalist to the city council, as reported by The Independent News. He said he’s aware that at least two other groups would still like to submit proposals, which is why he supported the deadline extension. “Because the more competitors, the better,” Williams said.

Alderman Steve Foster had already proposed a resolution to extend the deadline partly because he supports building the casino downtown and wants to give more time to applicants like former Danville banker Craig Campbell, who is pulling together a plan to do that.

Campbell attended last Tuesday’s meeting, where he lobbied for a downtown site during public-comment period and answered questions from some aldermen interested in his idea. He said his idea is a small-footprint development downtown that would be built upward rather than spreading out.

In July, Williams and local economic development officials announced their preferred site to be a 40-acre, undeveloped, “shovel-ready,” one-owner site along Interstate 74 near the Lynch Road exit. The land is owned by Riverbend Development, according to Vermilion County records.

One of the overriding concerns is the deadline, October 28, that a council-approved developer has to submit a final proposal to the Illinois Gaming Board to get a casino license. Because of this, local officials said they prefer a site that can be assembled quickly with all the zoning and other necessary requirements like utilities in place.

Campbell said he needs more time, possibly until early September, to pull together his development proposal, but he assured aldermen that he could make the final state application deadline in October. Williams said one reason for the last week’s original deadline was to leave ample time for city officials to negotiate with the chosen developer any benefits to the city, including its revenue share.

From Mayor Williams Jr.’s view, Danville has the upper hand on Terre Haute (Indiana) when it comes to securing a casino and the crowd it may bring. “I think that we will have a casino sooner than they do in Vigo County, also I just think that there are going to be a lot of recreational things here to do that they may not be able to offer,” Williams said.

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