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Proposal To Launch Casino in Decatur, Illinois Under Consideration

Decatur Conference Center & HotelThe city of Decatur, Illinois could soon have a new casino that would generate significant revenue for the city and also create a number of jobs for its residents. According to local media reports, a proposal to set up a small casino at the existing Decatur Conference Center & Hotel is being considered by the Decatur City Council.

The idea first came up for discussion in 2015 when the city was included in a proposed legislation that listed likely candidates for gaming ventures. There are currently ten casinos operating in the state of Illinois and most of them have around 1,000 slot machines on average.

Former executives of Argosy Gaming Company, Joseph Uram and Jeff Roberts have submitted a plan for the new casino which will be located at the atrium of the Conference Center. The proposed casino will be spread over a total of 14,000 square feet and have anywhere between 400 to 600 slot machines. This venture is expected to contribute upto $3 million in tax revenue to Decatur each year and create an additional 200 new jobs for its residents.

Steve Horve, the owner of the Decatur Conference Center & Hotel is excited by the new casino proposal and plans to renovate 50% of the 370 hotel rooms at the hotel. The hotel will have a complete makeover with special attention being paid to its food and beverage sections. Horve is confident that the new casino proposal will not only benefit his business but the city of Decatur.

The Decatur City Council is expected to weigh in on the proposal shortly. The proposal needs to be approved by the city before it can be added to the list of eligible locations for a gambling licence. While the state’s Gaming Board awards casino licences and specifies the actual site of the casino, the State Legislature decides on the overall number of licenses to be issued and the general locations of the casinos. Therefore, this approval by the city is the first step towards getting it off the ground. The Decatur Conference Center & Hotel project is seen to be a strong contender for the licence since the venue could be completed in as less as four months.

In a statement, City Manager Tim Gleason said,

The Decatur City Council is likely to consider the matter at a goal-setting discussion, scheduled for January 19, or as part of a February study session.

Despite calling the proposal exciting, there are some concerns outlined by Gleason namely the increase in gambling addictions but the casino developers are pushing the project on the basis that the benefits far outnumber the concerns.


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