Bo Jackson, the pro sports legend who made his name as a Heisman Trophy winner and two-sport athlete with the NFL’s Oakland Raiders and Major League Baseball’s Los Angeles Angels and Chicago White Sox, has become a casino investor.
Jackson, the only athlete in history named an All-Star in both baseball and football, has joined an investment group proposing a casino in Calumet City, the southwest Chicago suburb near where Jackson has made his home since 1994. The new venture is one of a diverse range of investments for Jackson that includes sport training complexes, marketing companies, product endorsements and most recently, a line of CBD products.
The $275 million casino project is one of four competing for a single casino license in Chicago’s southwest suburbs. Jackson’s investment makes the project “a majority minority-owned limited liability company,” according to the group. About 53 percent of the investors are people of color, including 16 percent who are African American, 24 percent Latin American and roughly 13 percent Asian/Pacific Islander American, the group said in a statement.
Another key investor in the group led by gambling operator Delaware North.
Jackson told the Chicago Sun-Times he was drawn to the investment group because they’ve committed to partnering with nearby South Suburban College on a new hospitality management program that will help staff the new property.
“I want to help employ people. I want to get kids off the corner, into college and into a good job,” he said. “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.”