Renewed Casino Talks with a Winnebago County Board Committee


There’s a renewed push to get a casino in Rockford. A Winnebago County Committee passed a symbolic resolution on Monday, urging Illinois state lawmakers to sign off on legislation to expand gaming.  This comes as the Clock Tower, which has been pitched as a possible site for a casino, is about to be demolished.

“It would be a nice revenue source for the community,” said District 16 Winnebago County Member Jean Crosby.  “If Winnebago County can raise that kind of money from the casinos it just helps everybody.”

The County’s Governmental Affairs Committee met and talked about the revenue a casino could generate plus the jobs it could create.

“Our neighboring states are putting casinos on their borders and they pull Illinois residents to those,” said Crosby.  “Indiana [and] Iowa [have] done that.  We just need to get on the ball.  We really just need help from Springfield.”

Bar Manager Sean Ritter says at District Bar and Grill, it’s not a concern that they’ll lose any business, if a casino built.  “We all kind of agree that having the casino would drive business towards us some more.”  Ritter says the casino would be an attraction to the City of Rockford.  “We don’t believe it would impact us in a negative way, it would bring people to Rockford.”

However, some who go to the bars to hit the slots, like Cody Lee, who frequents My Place Bar and Grill says something else. “Definitely, I’d be at the casino over the bar any day,” said Lee. He says it’s just a matter of preference.

“I like the casino life, I like to play the slots, the chances of winning are better.  They have the table, the slot machines.”

No one confirmed the Clock Tower as a possible location should the City of Rockford get the approval for a casino. The Clock Tower is scheduled to be demolished this week.

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