The Illinois Gaming Board approved the proposal on Wednesday, paving the way for the Hard Rock Casino Rockford to move forward with the necessary construction approvals.
The regulator also approved a list of 51 investors, including three executives, who were participating in the scam and gave a supplier license to the business that would operate the hypothetical casino.
Six cities, including Rockford, received approval to host a casino as part of a comprehensive gaming reform that Governor J. B. Pritzker signed in the summer of 2019. After a few months, the Rockford City Council chose Hard Rock from among three contenders for the construction of a gaming establishment in the city.
The proposed Hard Rock casino made significant strides with the Gaming Board's decisions on Wednesday for the first time since municipal authorities suggested it to the regulator in October 2019.
In response to the most recent information, Gaming Board Administrator Marcus Fruchter stated on Wednesday that the project "can move forward with requesting approval to commence construction on the temporary and permanent facility" now that the owner of the proposed temporary and permanent sites for the Rockford casino has been granted a license.
To act as the owner of the Rockford facility, Hard Rock and different Illinois investors who are interested in the plan have created 815 Entertainment LLC. The organization that originally bought the permanent casino location and will act as the landlord is 815 Beltway Holdings. The Illinois Gaming Board on Wednesday granted the business, which is run by principal investor and proprietor of the Dotty's network of gaming cafes, a casino supplier license.
Additionally, Mr. Fischer and his crew were given permission to use the temporary casino premises after it was determined that Joseph Castrogiovanni was unqualified to have a supplier's license.
The site of Giovanni's, 610 N. Bell School Road, will be the temporary facility that Hard Rock and its neighborhood allies plan to construct. With a $8.8 million refurbishment, the almost 38,000 square foot restaurant and banquet space will become a casino with 735 slot machines, two dining options, and perhaps a Rock Shop filled with Hard Rock memorabilia.
While the new one is being built, the temporary facility will continue to be used for about two years.
The old location of the Clock Tower Resort on East State Street close to the I-90 entrance will be transformed into the permanent casino facility, which is expected to cost $311 million. It will have a Hard Rock Café, a 1,600-seat Hard Rock Live performance venue, a casino with a total floor space of 65,000 square feet with an initial 1,500 slot machines, 55 table games, and a sportsbook. The casino floor could expand in the future, according to investors. Additionally, there will be two quick service cafés and three restaurants on the premises.
The Illinois Gaming Board identified Sunil Puri, the founder and President of Midwest Rockford Group, Brent Johnson, the president of Ringland-Johnson Construction, and Marc Jacobson as major figures. With 815 Entertainment, all three can now occupy executive positions. As previously noted, during its meeting on Wednesday, the board also approved a total of 51 investors in the program.