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Hawthorne Bids For Illinois Casino Licence

Friday, 17th October 2008

We-Can-See-The-Future Update: After putting together a team of investors, Hawthorne Race Course president Tim Carey has "submitted a bid to the Illinois Gaming Board for the state's dormant 10th casino licence," reported thoroughbredtimes.com. Collaborating with Carey "in the undertaking known as Champions Casino & Resort" are Ed Pilarz (president of Illinois-based gaming developer Altium Development Group) & Joseph Canfora (chief executive of Illinois-based hotel & casino developer Merit Management Group, which has been involved in 2 racino projects). Carey announced: "We offer the best shot (among 7 bidders) for the State of Illinois getting the 10th licence up as quickly as possible. We can get this up-and-running in 6 months & therefore provide US$200 million more in revenue to the state than any other applicant. The building exists; the land exists. It's 136 unencumbered acres. We're 7 miles from downtown Chicago & there are 4.2 million people within a 30-minute driving radius & 2.8 million reside within 10 miles. And we're only a few miles from Midway Airport." With an accent on family entertainment, the massive US$500 million project would also feature "2 hotels, several restaurants, bowling lanes, a 140,000-square foot entertainment district, a multi-screen movie theatre, a 150,000-square foot water park & and a 4,000-seat outdoor amphitheater". After completing reconstruction "of what now is the grandstand to put in a 40,000-square foot casino floor, 1150 slot positions, 50 table games & a poker room, the racetrack phase of the project would get underway". Carey summed up: "We want a world-class racetrack to accompany the project. It's going to be a racing facility that will rival anything in the US. This will change racing in Illinois. In order to compete in racing, we need gaming. This venue will provide that & more. We believe this will be the most lucrative gaming licence for the state of Illinois."

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