Labor Leader Backs Chamber's Suggestion for Casino at Thompson Center
Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Jerry Roper, a long-time fierce advocate for gaming expansion and a Chicago casino, first proposed the Thompson Center as a potential location for a casino in September 2011.
On Monday, Chicago Federation of Labor President Jorge Ramirez – Chicago’s most powerful labor leader – pushed for the idea as well.
From the Chicago Sun-Times:
“It allows us to quickly get the casino up and running. It’s also great for transportation, centrally located and near to the theater district,” Ramirez said.
“We’ve heard concerns that it’s too close to City Hall. We get that. But we’ve gone to great lengths to keep trade shows, conventions and tourism coming in. Indiana is capitalizing off those [cost-saving work rule] changes. We’re losing money to Indiana every day this is not addressed.”
Coincidentally, also on Monday, Mr. Roper made the case for a downtown Chicago casino as a tool to boost the city's economic vibrancy in an essay on Reboot Illinois’ website.
“The city’s leadership should be focused on how to leverage this economic engine to realize true and lasting benefits as an investment in Chicago,” Roper says in the essay. “Gaming tax revenue is a welcome vehicle for the mayor and the governor in today’s fiscal environment – but for the civic and business leadership, the prize must be real and sustained economic development.”
Click here to read the full Chicago Sun-Times story.