City of Waukegan, IL – Casino Socioeconomic Impact Assessment
SkillsMunicipal Impact Assessment, Casino Gaming Visitation and Revenue Forecast, Amenity Analysis, Fiscal Impacts, City Budget, Contract Negotiations
In 2022, Convergence Strategy Group was retained by the City of Waukegan, Illinois to evaluate the Illinois Gaming Board’s approved resort casino development for Waukegan, Full House Resorts’ American Place, including its potential social and economic impacts. CSG independently assessed the visitation and revenue potential for the 2,000-position gaming facility via a drive-time based gravity model for the regional population, as well as through modeling the potential capture of tourists visiting the area and nearby large-scale amusement park destinations. Post-pandemic changes in visitation and spending patterns were assessed, as well as the potential for long-term shifts in gamer behavior and the resulting impacts on the regional marketplace. The unique positioning of the property, its focus on the high-end gamer market, and non-standard amenity offerings were evaluated and their impacts on overall property viability quantified. CSG then evaluated the reasonableness of Full House Resorts’ internal projections for the facility and provided conservative projections to the City for use in negotiations with the developer for a Memorandum of Understanding, Host Community Agreement, and for City budgeting purposes. In addition to the City’s fiscal impacts from direct rent payments, gaming and other taxes, CSG estimated the impacts of the development on to the city’s businesses and schools, as well as municipal services such as fire and police.