On Friday, the city mayor for Rockford announced that the Illinois gaming board granted Hard Rock a temporary license to operate a casino at Rockford. But, the company will need several more approvals before it opens its doors to the public. Yet, this means the city 90 miles west of Chicago will soon have a land-based casino.
The newly approved casino is one of the six facilities expected in Illinois in line with the casino expansion bill of 2019. Tom McNamara, the city mayor, noted it was a huge accomplishment to have the first company begin its casino construction in the state.
The state Senator Dave Syverson released a statement saying that the Rock Hard Rockford Casino construction could begin this week. The developer will not start the structure from the ground up, as it chose a building that previously served as a restaurant. The 815 entertainment LLC Investment team owns this restaurant.
The Rock Hard Rockford Casino will operate for two years. Syverson was excited to see a project he had pushed for over 20 years was finally maturing. The senator said having a casino in the state could bring positive impacts to the local’s economy.
According to reports by Rockford Register Star, constructions on the casino have started. One venue is expected to hold 730 slot machines in three months.
License Denied To the Restaurant Owner
Joseph Castrogiovanni is the owner of the facility where the new casino will stand. In April, he was denied an operating license by the Illinois gaming board. The Rockford Register Star reported that Joseph did not get the license because he failed to reveal he was charged with misdemeanor reckless conduct in July 2020.
Joseph shot at a car that had driven to his home. He said he meant to fire a warning shot but ended up shooting to a pouch behind front seats already occupied.
Following the license denial, 815 Entertainment bought out Castrogiovanni. However, this was not about changing the gaming board’s mind as they also had to investigate Dan Fischer, a managing partner of 815 Entertainment. The company is planning to invest $8 million in the upcoming casino.
How Rockford Will Benefit From the Casino
Rockford is set to benefit from tax revenue collected from the temporary Hard Rock Rockford Casino. According to the Illinois Gaming Board data, the casino will pay $7 million yearly to the city.
The city will also get at least 15 percent of net revenue for the first year since opening. Hard Rock Casino will also pay 5 percent of their income starting the second year. Both permanent and temporary establishments will also contribute part of their net income.
Once a permanent gambling site is open, Rockford will get 1 percent of the new sports handles and casino revenue for two years. From there, the city will get 0.5 percent of total revenues from casino and sports betting annually.
A permanent casino is projected to have six restaurants, a convention center, an event center, and 2000 gaming seats. It is also expected to offer 1000 jobs. Each of the employees is likely to earn at least $37000.
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