The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Local News

September 21, 2007

Casino company lauds Danville as site

DANVILLE — An official with 37-2 Capital Corp. of Edwardsville, which wants to bring a riverboat casino to the city, is familiar with the gambling business.

“Danville is a wonderful opportunity for the state of Illinois to attract visitors from across the state line,” Chief Executive Officer Joseph Uram said.

The corporation has purchased more than 22 acres of land along the Vermilion River near Interstate 74 and Perrysville Road, he said.

Owners of the corporation are Uram, former chief financial officer with Argosy Gaming Co., and Jeffrey Roberts, former general counsel for Argosy.

He said Argosy had the first riverboat gambling licenses in Kansas City, suburban Cincinnati, Baton Rouge, La., and in Illinois with the Alton Belle.

The corporation’s name refers to the Fighting Illini’s winning basketball season two years ago.

“We’ve done a market study. This is a substantial market,” Uram said of Danville.

“It’s safe to say some consideration in Danville was given in the current legislative draft,” Uram said. “And that means the local legislators have been working very hard on behalf of their constituents.”

“We are pleased there is a constructive dialogue about an opportunity to bring taxes and economic development to Vermilion County,” Uram added. “We are monitoring the legislative status. We’re working to try to enhance the likelihood that Vermilion County can have 1,000-plus jobs.”

City officials’ casino hopes were revived this week when the Illinois Senate approved expanding gambling to pay for a $13 billion construction bond program for roads, bridges, schools and other projects.

The gambling plan would put a land-based casino in Chicago and add two riverboat casinos at unspecified locations.

The gambling legislation now goes to the House, where it faces an uncertain future.

Mayor Scott Eisenhauer is continuing to make contacts with House representatives to see if they support the bill and look at what opportunities Danville has to be identified.

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