What Happened to the Casino Queen?
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The Casino Queen is a popular riverboat casino that used to be docked in East St. Louis, Illinois. It was once the largest and most successful casino in the area, but now it is closed and abandoned. So, what happened to the Casino Queen?
In this article, we will look at the history of the Casino Queen, what led to its closure, and its current state.
History of the Casino Queen
The Casino Queen was opened in 1991 and it was the first riverboat casino in the state of Illinois. It was located on the Mississippi River in East St. Louis, and it quickly became one of the most popular casinos in the area. The casino was successful for many years, but it eventually began to struggle with financial issues.
The casino was owned by the Pritzker family, who also owned the Hyatt hotel chain. It was managed by a company called Casino Queen Inc., which was owned by the Pritzker family. The casino was known for its luxurious amenities and its high-end gaming. It had more than 1,200 slot machines and 60 table games.
The Decline of the Casino Queen
The Casino Queen began to struggle financially in the early 2000s. The casino was hit hard by the economic recession of the time, and its revenue started to drop. The Pritzker family decided to sell the casino in 2003, but they were unable to find a buyer.
In 2004, the casino was raided by the FBI and the United States Attorney’s Office, who accused the casino of money laundering. The casino was shut down for several months while the investigation was ongoing. In 2005, the casino was fined $2 million and its license was revoked.
The Closure of the Casino Queen
After the investigation was completed, the casino was unable to reopen. The Pritzker family decided to close the casino permanently in 2006. The casino had been open for 15 years, and it was the first riverboat casino in the state of Illinois.
The closure of the Casino Queen had a major impact on the local economy. The casino employed more than 1,500 people, and its closure resulted in the loss of hundreds of jobs. The casino also generated millions of dollars in tax revenue for the city of East St. Louis, and its closure was a major blow to the local economy.
The Current State of the Casino Queen
Since its closure, the Casino Queen has been abandoned. The building is now in a state of disrepair, and it has become a popular spot for urban explorers. The casino is also a popular destination for graffiti artists, who have left their mark on the walls of the casino.
The casino is currently owned by the City of East St. Louis, but it is not clear what the city plans to do with the building. The city has been trying to sell the building, but so far no buyers have been found.
What Could the Future Hold for the Casino Queen?
The future of the Casino Queen is uncertain. The building is in a state of disrepair, and it is unclear if it can be salvaged. However, there have been some ideas floated for the future of the building.
Reopening the Casino
Some have suggested that the Casino Queen could be reopened as a casino. This would involve extensive renovations to the building, and it would require a significant investment from a potential buyer.
Turning the Building into a Museum
Another idea is to turn the building into a museum. The building could be renovated and turned into a museum dedicated to the history of gambling in the state of Illinois. This could be a popular tourist attraction, and it could generate revenue for the city of East St. Louis.
Demolishing the Building
Finally, some have proposed demolishing the building. This would involve tearing down the building and selling the land to developers. This could be an easier and cheaper option than renovating the building, but it would also mean that the history of the Casino Queen would be lost forever.
The Casino Queen was once the most successful casino in the state of Illinois. It was a popular destination for tourists and locals alike, and it generated millions of dollars in tax revenue for the city of East St. Louis. Unfortunately, the casino eventually closed due to financial troubles and an FBI investigation.
The future of the Casino Queen is uncertain. The building is currently owned by the City of East St. Louis, but there have been no buyers for the building so far. There have been several ideas floated for the future of the building, including reopening the casino, turning it into a museum, or demolishing the building.
No matter what happens to the Casino Queen, its legacy will always be remembered. It was the first riverboat casino in the state of Illinois, and it was once one of the most successful casinos in the area. The Casino Queen will always be remembered for its impact on the local economy, and its story will live on for years to come.