Chicago Casino

Will a Chicago Casino Mean More Fine Dining or Endless Buffets?

Gamblers get hungry.
Gamblers get hungry. Photo: http2007/Flickr and Melissa Ham

While you were flipping burgers on Memorial Day, the Illinois House heroically spent the day passing a bill that greatly expands gambling in the state. Part of the plan includes slot machines at horse-racing tracks, which isn’t exactly exciting to us. But the plan also includes a proposed “land-based gambling house” in Chicago. If it sounds too outlandish, we’ll remind you that Rahm already likes the idea. Excuse us while we jump ahead a few years, but here’s the question we really want to know: would a Chicago casino spur even more fine dining restaurants or simply create endless mediocre all-you-can-eat buffets?

It’s impossible to ignore the strides that the Las Vegas restaurant scene has made in the past few years. It has dozens upon dozens of fine dining restaurants, and even had its own Michelin Guide before us. Of course, Chicago would never have that many casinos, so we could never expect that much to change. But it potentially could bring one or two big restaurants to town.

That said, the gambling institutions that are currently in the Midwest aren’t exactly known for their great cuisine. We mean, does anyone really head out to the Horseshoe Casino — currently the closest casino to Chicago — to eat? Perhaps we are completely wrong about this, but in our minds, gambling brings endless buffets, irrationally cheap steak dinners, and smelly shrimp cocktails.

Perhaps the answer is both. But what do you think? Will the proposed Chicago casino actually improve our restaurant scene?

Illinois House Votes to Add Chicago Casino in Expansion [Crain’s]

Will a Chicago Casino Mean More Fine Dining or Endless Buffets?