Embattled video gambling owner was in line for $2.5 million, taxpayer-funded windfall by flipping land. Now it’s off the table.

Tinley Park has not fared well in its dealings with video gambling operator Rick Heidner over the last year.



a large green field with trees in the background: Land at the northeast corner of Harlem Avenue and Vollmer Road in unincorporated Rich Township is seen on Sept. 30, 2020.


© Chris Sweda / Chicago Tribune/Chicago Tribune/TNS
Land at the northeast corner of Harlem Avenue and Vollmer Road in unincorporated Rich Township is seen on Sept. 30, 2020.

First, the southwest suburb signed onto Heidner’s plan to build a horse racing track and casino on state-owned land, only to have Gov. J.B. Pritzker derail the project after a Tribune investigation revealed Heidner’s long-standing business ties to people connected to organized crime.

Now, the Tribune has learned that Tinley Park officials have been secretly negotiating a real estate deal that would provide Heidner a $2.5 million windfall on land he purchased less than a year ago as a possible alternate casino site.

Under the proposal, Tinley Park was prepared to pay $7.5 million for 114 acres — about $2 million more

Read More