Syverson applauds Illinois Gaming Board’s decision, Hard Rock Casino gains momentum

State Senator Dave Syverson (R-Rockford) is exited to share that the Hard Rock Casino will be advancing to the next step of development after the Illinois Gaming Board announced their preliminary decision on the Rockford casino license application on February 4.

“After 20 years of working to make this casino a reality for our state, I am ecstatic for the Board’s decision and want to thank the Mayor McNamara and his team for all their work in this project,” said Sen. Syverson. “I also want to give Dan Fisher and the phenomenal team at Hard Rock a big round of applause for putting together a comprehensive application.”

After months of delays, the Illinois Gaming Board has finally approved the license application for the Rockford-based casino. Now that the casino has the Board’s approval, the Hard Rock can continue to the next step in the process, which is the assessment of the gaming operations within the facility.

The Hard Rock Casino is also the first of the five casino sites created by the well-known gaming package passed by lawmakers in June 2019 to have their licensing application approved by the Board.  

Sen. Syverson accredits this accomplished to the fact that the community of Rockford and the Hard Rock Casino submitted just a single licensing application with incredible, widespread community support.

“While there was some push back at the time to the idea of submitting just one application, we believed Rockford should decide what was best for them and hoped that this decision would remove unnecessary hurdles in the approval process,” said Sen. Syverson. “Those communities that submitted two proposals are still months away from approval, giving Rockford a much-needed head start.” 

The licensing approval also allows plans to move forward for opening the temporary casino location in the district.

“While today’s action is not final approval, it does allow Hard Rock to move forward with and for us to get the temporary casino up and running,” said Sen. Syverson. “I am confident because of the great work done at the front end of this process, the final approval will come shortly. This is a huge win for Rockford and the region.”

Hard Rock and the City of Rockford sent in the casino license application in October of 2019. The Hard Rock Casino was created as part of Senate Bill 690, the largest gaming expansion bill ever passed in the State of Illinois. Senator Syverson was the Chief Co-sponsor on this measure when it came before the Senate in 2019. 

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