The Illinois General Assembly Has Allowed the Expansion of Full House Resorts’ Temporary Casino

The Illinois General Assembly passed a law that allows the Illinois Gaming Board (IGB) to assess Full House Resorts’ delay in constructing its temporary American Place casino. The Senate and House had a heated debate on Thursday before passing Senate Bill 0584 during their veto session.

Representative Elizabeth Hernandez filed a House amendment that grants the IGB the mandate to prolong the period that certain casino license holders can offer games at their temporary gaming site by up to 30 months.

Full House Resorts launched The Temporary at American Place early this year. Yet, it launched a retail bookmaker in October and hired Circa Sports to run it. Illinois’ regulation requires a gaming operator with a temporary casino to construct a permanent property within two years since its temporary site accepted its first bets.

Senate Bill 0584 was passed after the House rejected Senator Bill Cunningham’s sports betting provision. The Senate had earlier approved the amendment which sought to change local schools’ sports betting regulations. Illinois only allows retail bookies to accept pre-game wagers currently.

The law was forwarded to Governor JB Pritzker’s office awaiting his signature. But it hasn’t changed the Sports Wagering Act. Thus, the existing college gambling laws will remain effective up to July 1, 2024.

The Legislature will have to address any likely changes in the next session. The amendment affects Full House.

Bally’s Corporation is constructing a $1.7 billion downtown Chicago casino and it launched a temporary gaming site at Medinah Temple. The IGB gave it a 12-month extension hence granting it up to October 2026 to open the permanent casino in River West.

Does Full House Resorts’ Project Have Opponents?

An Illinois Appellate District Court ruled in favor of the Forest County Potawatomi Community in August allowing it to continue suing the IGB and Waukegan City. This makes Full House’s likely extension uncertain. The Native tribe accused then-Mayor Sam Cunningham of allowing an illegal process that excluded the Potawatomi Community from being amongst the bidders that Waukegan presented to the gaming board for selection in November 2019 despite most of the application process’ metrics ranking it first or second.

The Potawatomi Community initially placed a $5.6 million bid to purchase land for its gaming project. It was the fourth bid and the tribe submitted a $12 million supplemental big which was ignored. Still, it filed the lawsuit in October 2019 hence forcing the IGB to delay picking the bid’s winner.

Even so, Judge Cecilia Horan from Cook County Circuit dismissed the indigenous tribe’s case on December 7, 2021 stating that it lacked legal standing. The IGB hinted the next day that Full House was its favorite gaming operator. The First District Appellate Court reversed Horan’s ruling in the summer when Judge Raymond Mitchell decided that the $25,000 nonrefundable Waukegan license application fee that the Potawatomi Community paid offered sufficient standing for the case.

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