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Illinois Gaming Board Gives Hard Rock Casino Rockford Project Preliminary Approval

The Illinois Gaming Board unanimously voted to give the green light to the long-awaited Rockford casino project that could become the eleventh casino venue in the state.

As officially revealed by the Board, the state’s gambling regulatory body gave preliminary approval for the proposed Hard Rock casino resort that is planned to be established in Rockford. However, this does not necessarily mean that gambling developers are guaranteed to get the desired casino operating license, especially considering the fact that one of the project’s main investors is being subject to investigation by the Illinois Gaming Board.

The gambling watchdog unanimously found the group headed by gambling investor Dan Fisher suitable for putting the foundations of the project. The Administrator of the Illinois Gaming Board Marcus Fruchter made it clear that the approval is not a final license or a guarantee of getting final approval for Mr. Fisher’s company.

The preliminary approval was important to the Richmond casino project because it was needed for the plans to proceed further. If the Illinois gambling regulator had failed to find the project suitable, this would have put an end to it.

As mentioned above, Dan Fisher also owns the Dotty’s video gambling lounge chain through another company, which is currently being investigated by the state’s gambling regulatory body over a deal to purchase another gambling lounge chain in 2018.

Hard Rock’s Project Includes Establishment of 65,000-Square-Foot Casino

Hard Rock is the first operator among the six casino companies that were given the opportunity to seek preliminary approval under legislation from June 2019. Now, the state’s Gaming Board is expected to continue its review of the Hard Rock proposal, with the gambling company preparing to submit a detailed project for the operation of the temporary and permanent casino proposals it made.

Although the Illinois Gaming Board voted unanimously to give the preliminary approval to the casino project and the company behind it, the regulatory body’s Chairman Charles Schmadeke said he had some questions associated with the former and currently existing relationships of some of the key individuals related to the project. Mr. Schmadeke, however, highlighted the fact that all of the evidence brought to the Gaming Board showed no evidence of any problems with the project.

The casino project unveiled by Hard Rock includes the establishment of a 65,000-square-foot casino, a live venue featuring 1,600 seats and a Hard Rock Cafe at the site of the former Clock Tower Resort.

Dan Fischer, who is the key investor in the Hard Rock Casino Rockford project, is involved in a civil lawsuit related to his effort to expand his gambling business that was filed in Cook County. He, along with a few other people, faced accusations of participating in a money transaction as part of the expansion of his gaming establishments in a $46.50-million deal. Mr. Fischer’s company has so far denied any wrongdoing.

 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.