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Rockford City Officials Recommends Hard Rock’s Casino Project to Illinois Gambling Regulator

The Hard Rock International seems to be a bit ahead of the competition for the desired Rockford casino, as it became clear that Rockford city staff will make a recommendation for its project to the state’s gambling regulatory body.

Last week, the three casino license applicants made their cases at a public hearing, and yesterday, Mayor Tom McNamara reviewed the casino proposals filed by Forest City Casino, Hard Rock International and Rock River West Casino Group. He revealed that after going through and taking into consideration the three projects and the responses received at the public hearing, City Staff took into account the positive and negative sides of each of the three proposals. As a result, it would recommend to the Illinois Gaming Board to grant a casino license to the Hard Rock proposal.

What probably played an important part when forming the recommendation, is the fact that Hard Rock has agreed to make a $7-million minimum payment in gaming taxes to Rockford authorities in case that it is the chosen candidate from the three competitors.

Apart from that, the city’s mayor explained that Hard Rock is the company with the strongest and most thorough proposal, and with a credible financial structure. As Mr. McNamara explained, the proposal of the gambling giant included minimum gambling tax guarantees which were both realistic and sustainable, and the company further agreed to pay some additional tax that would help the city to offset a casino’s impact on local communities.

Hard Rock Believes New Casino Could Start Operation Within 90 Days If Getting a License

Rockford Mayor also revealed that city officials were not in a position to make a recommendation for the casino proposal of Forest City due to the fact that the company did not provide equity funding details. The third competitor was not an actual option, either, as it has not secured a company that would operate the proposed casino. According to city staff, Hard Rock International was the candidate considered to be able to provide the most benefits to Rockford.

As CasinoGamesPro reported, the representatives of the Hard Rock International were the second who gave a presentation at the public hearing which took place last week.

The gambling operator’s proposal involves building a casino venue at the place where the Clock Tower Resort and Conference Center used to stand once. The company’s representatives also unveiled a temporary location for the planned casino’s operations which would be hosted at Giovanni’s Restaurant and Convention Center until the permanent location is ready to start operation. According to preliminary estimates provided by Hard Rock’s representatives, the proposed casino facility is likely to start operation within 90 days in case the company is granted a license by the state’s gambling regulator.

The casino venue is set to include an area for concerts and events situated on 16,000 square feet, as well as three dining areas, apart from the gambling area. Hard Rock International has also revealed that it joined forces with the Rockford Park District and plans to make investments in its programs.

The gambling operator’s executive vice president of marketing and development, Jeff Hook, shared that Rockford could offer a great workforce, so establishing a gambling facility in the city would be beneficial for both parties.

 Author: Harrison Young

Harrison Young is an experienced writer, who started his career almost 8 years ago. Prior to joining our team at CasinoGamesPro, he worked as an editor for a small magazine.