Top Stories Of 2023: Some may call Waukegan casino and dispensaries revenue a ‘sinner tax,’ but mayor says, ‘It will … – Chicago Tribune

After more than 20 years of lobbying, and almost five years since Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed legislation allowing a casino in Waukegan, The Temporary by American Place casino opened in February with plans for a permanent luxury gaming resort in the next few years.

Within eyesight of the casino, Ivy Hall opened Waukegan’s first cannabis dispensary in March. Nearby on the other side of the gaming establishment, Planet 13 opened the city’s second marijuana store in December, giving the city three new tax-revenue-rich businesses in 2023.

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The opening of the casino and the two cannabis dispensaries, along with the revenue generated for Waukegan, was one of the Lake County News-Sun’s top stories of 2023.

Since the casino opened in February, Alex Stolyar, the senior vice president and chief development officer of American Place owner Full House Resorts, said the business continues to grow.

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Starting with 1,000 slot machines, 28 table games and one restaurant, he said there is now a sportsbook, a second restaurant and nearly 50 table games, with a third eatery — North Shore Steak & Seafood — set to open in January.

“We’re very

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