Indiana Providing Competition to Illinois Casino Industry
The Illinois Gaming Board continues to delay the construction of new casino properties in Illinois, and it is allowing Indiana to take charge.
However, these two states border each other, and there is plenty of competition along the state line when it comes to casino gaming.
The Hard Rock Northern Casino recently launched in Gary, Indiana, which is just Northeast of the city of Chicago. This property is expected to become a huge tourist attraction, especially as there are no casino properties available in the Windy City.
Now that the Gary project is complete, Hard Rock International is looking to make another big move near the Illinois state line. Again, the Indiana Gaming Commission is on board with this plan as well, and this time Terre Haute is the target.
An announcement was made earlier this week that outlines plans for Hard Rock to build and operate a Rocksino Casino property in Terre Haute. That location is just seven miles from the border of Illinois and Indiana and will again attract residents from the Land of Lincoln.
The plans call for construction to begin in late June or July, with a potential opening date of 2022. This could give Illinois some time to compete in this location, but a decision will be needed soon.
If the Indiana Gaming Commission approves this project, this would be a new $170 million investment made by Hard Rock. The new property would have more than 800 slot machines and around 35 table games available.
There is some concern from the IGC about the license of this facility after there were some issues with the investment group in Northern Indiana. The commission continues to investigate Spectacle Entertainment, but ultimately, a vote of approval is expected for this new project.
Danville Project Remains Delayed
The Illinois Gaming Board has been presented with a number of new casino developments since 2019, but the group continues to be slow to issue approval. When the gaming expansion bill was signed into law by Governor J.B. Pritzker, it was expected that a number of new casinos would be constructed quickly.
Danville, Illinois, was one of the cities expected to receive a new casino project, and there was a proposal submitted to the IGB in 2020. The IGB announced that it planned to delay issuing any new licenses for at least six months, but that time is running out.
Golden Nugget LLC and Wilmot Gaming Illinois LLC have teamed up for this project, and it would provide a substantial financial boost to Danville and new tax revenue for Illinois. Rickey Williams Jr., Mayor of Danville, believes that a decision could be coming soon.
The Illinois Gaming Board is expected to meet on June 9 and July 14, but Williams is hoping that an announcement is made at the first meeting. This would allow the construction to begin immediately, and it could open before the Terre Haute project.
Danville is just minutes from the Indiana border and could provide even more competition between the two states.
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