ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — The Illinois Gaming Board has approved the request to begin construction on a temporary Hard Rock Casino in Rockford.
The City of Rockford made the announcement on Friday morning.
“815 Entertainment has been given the green light to begin construction of our temporary Hard Rock casino. Of the six casinos that were approved in the casino expansion bill in 2019, we are the first to begin construction! This is a huge accomplishment for our community, and it will bring hundreds of construction jobs to Rockford!” said Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara.
“I am very excited that the Hard Rock temporary casino structure has finally been given the green light to move forward,” said Sen. Dave Syverson (R-Rockford). “For more than 20 years, I have worked to bring this project to fruition, knowing that it will have such a positive economic impact locally. After so long, it is very rewarding to see this project gain real momentum.”
The temporary casino will be at the former Giovanni’s Restaurant and Convention Center, at 610 N. Bell School Road.
The City of Rockford signed a labor agreement with the IBEW union to build the casino, on June 16th.
The former Giovanni’s Restaurant and Convention Center will undergo a $8 million renovation and would host 700 slot machines.
The temporary casino will operate for 18-24 months while the permanent Hard Rock Casino Rockford is built at the former Clock Tower Resort on E. State Street.
The casino still does not have an operating license. This approval allows 815 Entertainment to begin construction. The Illinois Gaming Board is set to meet again on July 14th.