Licenses for new casinos on hold due to pandemic

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(WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- The coronavirus pandemic has dealt a bad hand to suburbs anticipating an infusion of money from a long-awaited casino.

There's at least another six months of waiting for communities hoping for the next round of casino licenses, according to the Illinois Gaming Board, which has moved things back because of the pandemic.

The south suburbs are waiting on one license — fur bids for that one.

And Waukegan is waiting on a license — three bids there.

Marcus Fruchter, Illinois Gaming Board administrator, announced Thursday that the pandemic has disrupted business as usual for the agency.

Waukegan Mayor Sam Cunningham said in a statement that the pushback is bad news for his city, which has waited decades for the entertainment center and casino.

“Waukegan has waited thirty years for our long-sought entertainment center and casino," Cunningham said. "While today’s news was certainly unwelcomed, we look forward to the gaming board efficiently reviewing these proposals to prevent any further delays.”