Sports Legend Bo Jackson is Part of Investment Group For South Chicago Casino

A legend in the sports world announced that he is part of an investment group looking to break into the casino business.

According to a report from the Chicago Sun-Times, dual-sport star Bo Jackson said he became a partner in the group that proposed to build Southland Live Casino in Calumet City, a municipality in the South Side of Chicago on the border of Illinois.

The proposed $275 million hotel casino would be in direct competition with the Horseshoe Hammond, a property Caesars-owned property just on the other side of the Indiana-Illinois border that was home to some of the largest WSOP Circuit events of the year.

Jackson, who was a running back in the NFL for the Los Angeles Raiders and an outfielder for three MLB teams, including the Chicago White Sox, told the Sun-Times that part of the reason he joined the investment group was to help revitalize the South Side, an area that he played two seasons in with the Sox typically associated with violent crime.

“I want to help employ people,” said Jackson. “I want to get kids off the corner, into college and into a good job. The thing we want to do is bring life back into the South Side of Chicago and the suburbs – make it a place where people want to go instead of avoid. Some people might look at this as a gaming casino. I’m looking at it as an opportunity for a lot of people, a lot of underprivileged kids.”

Jackson’s venture into the casino industry shows the continued mainstream adoption of the overall gambling industry as former sports stars aren’t forced to deal with the stigma of gambling.

According to a recent Reuters report, NBA legend Michael Jordan increased his stake in sports gambling data company Sportradar, which came about a year after he accepted a “special advisor” role in one of the biggest online sportsbooks in country, DraftKings. At about the same time that Jordan accepted his DraftKings role, former NFL running back Marshawn Lynch entered into a partnership with a sports gambling website.

In May 2019, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed a bill that expanded the gambling market in the Land of Lincoln. Along with legalizing sports betting, the bill allowed for six new casinos throughout Illinois. Jackson’s group, which is led by gambling operator Delaware North, is one of the four investment groups vying for the one gaming license the government designated for the south suburbs.




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