Gaming board ok’s construction of temporary Rockford casino

June 25, 2021 GMT

ROCKFORD, Ill. (AP) — The Illinois Gaming Board has approved the construction of a temporary casino in Rockford.

However before the casino opens owner 815 Entertainment LLC must obtain the Gaming Board’s permission to operate and receive approval of the casino’s security and surveillance plans.

“This is a huge accomplishment for our community, and it will bring hundreds of construction jobs to Rockford,” Mayor Tom McNamara said in a written statement and noting it is the first of six new casino locations approved by a 2019 state gambling expansion to begin construction.

A 37,790-square-foot restaurant and banquet hall in Rockford will undergo an estimated $8.8 million renovation. When finished it is expected to feature 736 slot machines and two restaurants.

The temporary casino could operate for two years while the $311 million Hard Rock Casino Rockford is under construction. That project must pass several regulatory hurdles before construction can begin at Interstate 90 and East State Street in Rockford.