Just last week, we reported on the news on Illinois Governor JB Pritzker approving the state’s new capital plan. Under the $45 million plan, a number of new casinos will be built throughout the state. Reports are now coming out that Pritzker plans to fast-track the new Rockford casino.
There’s clearly a lot going on in the Illinois gambling scene. Today, we’re looking at why the state wants to push the casino in Rockford so quickly. Later on, we’ll talk more about the plans for other casino venues in the state.
Chicago’s Plan to Launch New Casino
Chicago hasn’t always embraced the casino industry. It wasn’t until the mid-90s when the first land-based casinos began to operate here. Today, there are seven riverboat casinos, and three on land.
Fortunately, lawmakers here seem to finally recognize the massive potential associated with this industry. As we already mentioned, Governor Pritzker approved a new capital plan that allows for several new casinos across the state. Interestingly, this plan also approves a massive casino-resort in Chicago.
The Chicago casino is the first of its kind. Unfortunately, many in the gaming industry feel this city is not a profitable destination for a gaming establishment. High tax rates and a less-than-ideal location in the city are pushing some companies to look the other way.
That doesn’t mean other casinos in this state won’t be profitable. Rockford, in particular, is expected to bring in serious revenue earnings for the state. For this reason, lawmakers here are looking to construct the new Rockford casino quicker than others.
Why is the New Rockford Casino Being Fast-Tracked?
It all comes down to competition. Just across the border, in Wisconsin, officials are working to construct a new casino in the city of Beloit. This week, Governor Pritzker vowed to “beat Beloit” in a race for the first casino.
Over in Beloit, the Ho-Chunk Nation Tribe awaiting approval to construct a casino. Beloit is just half an hour away from Rockford via car. There’s a theory that whichever casino is built first will become the area’s top gambling destination.
Officials claim the new Rockford casino will be completed within 24-48 months. It will bring more than 600 construction jobs, and hundreds more for casino work. According to analysts, the city of Rockford will earn between $4 and $8 million in annual revenue from the casino.
State Senator’s Steve Sandleman and Dave Syverson are both working hard to get this casino built before Beloit’s. For now, things are looking good.
Casino Towns Excited About Pritzker’s New Plan
The capital plan signed last week involves more than just gambling. Under the $45 million dollar plan, the state will invest in road and bridge reconstruction, transit investment, railway improvements, and bicycle projects. For many, though, new casinos are the most important part of the plan.
Six small cities are set to welcome casinos over the next few years. A number of these cities are praising the governor on his effort to improve the state’s economy. Several media outlets are giving him credit, as well.
Mayor of Rockford, Tom McNamara, feels that the governor is working hard to help the state’s smaller towns.
“From the first time we met, we had a number of asks outlined on behalf of the city of Rockford,” McNamara said. “I am here to say that every single one of those, he delivered on.”
As we mentioned earlier, the new Rockford will open its doors sometime in the next two years. We will be giving updates on construction plans for this gaming venue as they come up.