Chicago Casino Deal in the Works?

MGM Mirage could take over efforts to build a riverboat casino in Rosemont, Ill., near O'Hare International Airport that would pump tens of millions of dollars into the horse racing industry, according to published reports.

The casino was authorized by a 1999 revision of the state's gaming and racing laws. It has been held up by a series of lawsuits and the refusal of the Illinois Gaming Board to approve the license of the current ownership group.

Reports in Crain's Chicago Business and the Las Vegas Sun reported MGM Mirage would pay more than $600 million to buy out the ownership group. None of the principals would comment on the reports.

Even should the deal come to pass, the new owners still would have to settle or win pending lawsuits on several fronts and overcome continued opposition by anti-gambling organizations.

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