Potawatomi submits application to develop new casino in Waukegan

NOW: Potawatomi submits application to develop new casino in Waukegan

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Potawatomi Hotel and Casino has filed an application with the city of Waukegan, Illinois to develop a new casino there.

The news was a bit of a touchy subject with people from Kenosha, who still remember when their city had hope for that kind of development.

“The casino should’ve been here to begin with,” said Patrick Puhr, a Kenosha resident. “Big missed opportunity [of] jobs, taxes.”

In 2015, then-Governor Scott Walker rejected a planned Hard Rock Casino in Kenosha.

He blamed compacts negotiated by Governor Jim Doyle that insured there could be no casinos that close to the Milwaukee casino.

But the CEO and general manager of Potawatomi, Rodney Ferguson, is only looking ahead.

“It being right between a million-plus population [of the Milwaukee area] and a nine-million population [of the Chicago area], [Waukegan’s] in a very good location for gaming,” Ferguson said.

Ferguson noted that a Waukegan casino would be a smaller operation than what’s in Milwaukee, and also what was proposed in Kenosha.

Either way, from an entertainment standpoint, it would certainly be convenient for people in Kenosha.

“I think it would be a great idea,” said Mindi Danielson, a Kenosha resident. “They’d talked about having one in Kenosha which we were advocates for, so I think having something closer would be something we’d be in favor of.”

The Waukegan City Council will review Potawatomi’s application, along with any others that were submitted, and forward them to the Illinois Gaming Board by the end of October.

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