Illinois: Tribal casino alleges rigged selection process in appeal against Waukegan

June 14, 2024 1:09 PM
  • Sam Bentham, Special to CDC Gaming Reports
June 14, 2024 1:09 PM
  • Sam Bentham, Special to CDC Gaming Reports

Representatives of the Potawatomi Indian Tribe, which bid to build the Waukegan Potawatomi Casino LLC in Illinois, have asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit to undo a ruling that found that the City of Waukegan had not discriminated against it during the project selection process.

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City officials selected three competitors during the casino application process. The Waukegan Potawatomi Casino’s initial case argued in the lower court that the Illinois city ran a rigged application process.

In a brief sent to the Seventh Circuit, the plaintiff outlines that the rigged application was designed to encourage lawmakers to limit competition from casino developers not backed by the Waukegan mayor’s political benefactors.

“A reasonable jury could find that the city’s mayor secretly directed a decisive block of City Council members to vote against WPC’s proposal at the meeting and in favor of the other three proposals,” the brief said. “A reasonable jury could find that this sham vote was the culmination of a casino review process that the mayor rigged against WPC.”

The plaintiff’s previous complaint ended on March 29 as U.S. District Judge John F. Kness determined the City of Waukegan’s conduct was rational and there was not enough evidence to support the plaintiff’s claim of a rigged process.

There is only one land-based casino in Waukegan – Full House Resorts, which has seen its share of tricky operations since opening.