The City of Rockford and Hard Rock submitted an application for the construction and operation of a casino venue to the Illinois Gaming Board a year and a half ago.
This week, the state’s gambling operator took an important step in the process, as it gave its approval to a Casino Supplier License to the owner of the temporary and permanent casino locations – 815 Beltway Holdings LLC. The move basically means that construction can finally begin once the authorities give the nod to construction plans for the casino’s temporary location at Giovanni’s. However, it still does not mean that gambling at the temporary location got approved.
Now, the construction plans for the temporary location of the casino at Giovanni’s are set to be submitted to both the state’s gambling regulator and the City of Rockford, and both of them need to separately give their approval to the plans.
The future of a casino venue in Rockford is still a waiting game. As Senator Dave Syverson explained, the local lawmakers were willing to speed the process up, but this was the initial phase of the project and it was an important step to go through.
Illinois Gaming Board’s approval of the Casino Supplier License moves the project one step closer to becoming a reality. Tom McNamara, the Mayor of Rockford, described the step as a huge win for the community and the entire region.
Temporary Casino Could Start Operation in Rockford “Sometime in the Fall”
Senator Syverson explained that, before the temporary casino becomes operational, the Illinois Gaming Board will have to complete some on-site inspections. He, however, failed to provide a deadline for that but guessed that the casino would be able to open doors sometime in the fall of 2021.
Senator Syverson also said that the construction plans for the permanent casino will be submitted once the authorities give the green light to the temporary construction plans. As mentioned above, those plans have to be approved by both the City of Rockford and the Illinois Gaming Board separately.
The timeline provided by Hard Rock is a bit more clear. The Mayor of Rockford shared that Hard Rock has been consistent with their plans, revealing they will need between 90 and 120 days to get the temporary site done after the company is allowed to start the construction process.
According to the Mayor of Rockford, it will take two to three years for the permanent casino to become a reality. When asked how much money the temporary casino venue is expected to generate while the permanent casino is still being constructed, Mr. McNamara said “several million dollars”.
The recent Casino Supplier License approval given by the Illinois Gaming Board to the owner of both the proposed temporary and permanent location of the Hard Rock Casino allows the construction of both facilities, once the state’s gambling watchdog approves the plans. The IGB, however, has not granted approval of gaming operations at the temporary facility, which is planned to host 736 slot machines, a casino bar, a snack bar and Legacy Restaurant.