Churchill Downs Incorporated (CDI) and Rush Street Gaming, joint owners of Rivers Casino Des Plaines in Illinois, are teaming up to propose a new development in the shape of the  1,625-gaming-seat Rivers Casino Waukegan. The new facility is expected to create over 1,200 permanent jobs; 900 union construction jobs and pump over $150m annually into the local Waukegan and Lake County economy.

According to a joint statement, the two firms believe that opening a second Rivers-branded casino in Waukegan will create a synergy in the market. “Rivers, with a premier reputation among its customers, would bring Illinois’ leading gaming brand and proven record to Waukegan, delivering a tremendous benefit to the city that no other applicant can offer,” it said.

“We’re happy to be considered to develop and operate what we know will be a leading entertainment destination for the City of Waukegan, Lake County and the State of Illinois,” said Rush Street Gaming CEO Greg Carlin. “It would be an honor to bring the Rivers brand and experience to Waukegan.”

Rush Street Gaming Chairman Neil Bluhm noted: “We are especially proud of our long history of hiring local people and vendors in every market where we have invested. Rush Street spends more than $23m annually on firms owned by women and minorities. We’re especially proud of our diverse workforce and the career opportunities we have provided our associates.”

The joint statement added: “Rivers Casino Des Plaines is the most successful casino in Illinois and hosted 2.9 million admissions in 2018. Its extensive patron database will help to attract players from throughout the region to Rivers Casino Waukegan, complementing, rather than cannibalizing, current local video gaming operators.”

Bill Carstanjen, CEO of CDI, commented: “Churchill Downs Incorporated has a 145-year track record of offering unmatched premium entertainment experiences for horse racing fans and significant expertise developing premier casino venues for our patrons throughout the United States. We are proud to partner with Rush Street Gaming to bring our shared vision for a world-class entertainment destination to Waukegan.”