#222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: small; background-color: #ffffff;”>A planned Rockford casino is one step closer to reality.

#222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: small; background-color: #ffffff;” />#222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: small; background-color: #ffffff;”>The Illinois Gaming Board has given preliminary approval to the city’s Hard Rock
#222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: small; background-color: #ffffff;” />#222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: small; background-color: #ffffff;”>Casino proposal. The decision allows work to begin behind-the-scenes on both a
#222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: small; background-color: #ffffff;” />#222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: small; background-color: #ffffff;”>temporary and permanent gaming location. However, a final ruling on license approval
#222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: small; background-color: #ffffff;” />#222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: small; background-color: #ffffff;”>still is pending.

#222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: small; background-color: #ffffff;” />#222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: small; background-color: #ffffff;”>“This is exciting for the whole region,” said State Sen. Dave Syverson, R-Rockford.
#222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: small; background-color: #ffffff;” />#222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: small; background-color: #ffffff;”>“Hard Rock is one of the most known brand names across the world. To have this brand
#222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: small; background-color: #ffffff;” />#222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: small; background-color: #ffffff;”>in this region, is gonna make a big difference.”

#222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: small; background-color: #ffffff;” />#222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: small; background-color: #ffffff;”>Syverson long has pushed for a gaming license for Rockford and was a leading advocate
#222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: small; background-color: #ffffff;” />#222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: small; background-color: #ffffff;”>of a 2019 gambling expansion package that allows for up to six new casinos in Illinois.

#222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: small; background-color: #ffffff;”>


#222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: small; background-color: #ffffff;” />#222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: small; background-color: #ffffff;”>“I took a lot of heat when we first pushed this when I said we really need to be unified
#222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: small; background-color: #ffffff;” />#222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: small; background-color: #ffffff;”>and submit a single application, knowing that if we said submitted multiple applications
#222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: small; background-color: #ffffff;” />#222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: small; background-color: #ffffff;”>to the state, that that would create a problem,” Syverson said. “Sure enough, here we are.
#222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: small; background-color: #ffffff;” />#222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: small; background-color: #ffffff;”>Rockford’s the only one approved.”

#222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: small; background-color: #ffffff;” />#222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: small; background-color: #ffffff;”>In a statement, state officials noted that the process isn’t over yet.

#222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: small; background-color: #ffffff;” />#222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: small; background-color: #ffffff;”>“A determination for preliminary suitability is an important step forward in the licensing
#222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: small; background-color: #ffffff;” />#222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: small; background-color: #ffffff;”>process, but is not final licensure,” said Joe Miller, director of policy for the Illinois
#222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: small; background-color: #ffffff;” />#222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: small; background-color: #ffffff;”>Gaming Board. “Nor is preliminary suitability a guarantee of final licensure.”

#222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: small; background-color: #ffffff;” />#222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: small; background-color: #ffffff;”>Before submitting the city’s application to the Gaming Board, Rockford leaders
#222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: small; background-color: #ffffff;” />#222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: small; background-color: #ffffff;”>coalesced around a single potential site, along Interstate 90 on the city’s east side, and a
#222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: small; background-color: #ffffff;” />#222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: small; background-color: #ffffff;”>single operator, Hard Rock.

#222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: small; background-color: #ffffff;” />#222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: small; background-color: #ffffff;”>The plan includes a 65,000-square-foot casino, a Hard Rock Café, and a 1,600-seat Hard
#222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: small; background-color: #ffffff;” />#222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: small; background-color: #ffffff;”>Rock Live venue.
#222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: small; background-color: #ffffff;” />
#222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: small; background-color: #ffffff;” />#222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: small; background-color: #ffffff;”>“Now plans have to be submitted for the temporary casino, the drawings and the details
#222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: small; background-color: #ffffff;” />#222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: small; background-color: #ffffff;”>of it, that has to be approved,” Syverson said. “Then they have to submit, and the gaming
#222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: small; background-color: #ffffff;” />#222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: small; background-color: #ffffff;”>board has to approve, the drawings for the permanent casino.”

#222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: small; background-color: #ffffff;” />#222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: small; background-color: #ffffff;”>A site for a temporary casino, not far from the permanent location, already has been
#222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: small; background-color: #ffffff;” />#222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: small; background-color: #ffffff;”>identified. Syverson hopes it might be up and running within 90 days. Groundbreaking on
#222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: small; background-color: #ffffff;” />#222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: small; background-color: #ffffff;”>the main site, meanwhile, could take place by summer, pending final action by the Board.

#222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: small; background-color: #ffffff;” />#222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: small; background-color: #ffffff;”>In a statement, Miller said the Illinois Gaming Board does not speculate on timelines for
#222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: small; background-color: #ffffff;” />#222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: small; background-color: #ffffff;”>any future regulatory actions.

#222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: small; background-color: #ffffff;” />#222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: small; background-color: #ffffff;”>However, it appears the Rockford application is the closest of the six casinos approved in
#222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: small; background-color: #ffffff;” />#222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: small; background-color: #ffffff;”>the 2019 gambling expansion package to final approval.

#222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: small; background-color: #ffffff;” />#222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: small; background-color: #ffffff;”>“While we took some heat to say, ‘Let’s be unified with the single location,’” Syverson
#222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: small; background-color: #ffffff;” />#222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: small; background-color: #ffffff;”>said, “the end result is Rockford is the only one approved. The others are going to be a
#222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: small; background-color: #ffffff;” />#222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: small; background-color: #ffffff;”>long way away.”

#222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: small; background-color: #ffffff;” />#222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: small; background-color: #ffffff;”>Work continues on potential licenses for casinos in Danville, Waukegan and south
#222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: small; background-color: #ffffff;” />#222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: small; background-color: #ffffff;”>suburban Cook County. A potential Chicago site has not yet been determined.

#222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: small; background-color: #ffffff;” />#222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: small; background-color: #ffffff;”>“All these other casinos are delayed and Chicago is delayed, but the revenues from those
#222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: small; background-color: #ffffff;” />#222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: small; background-color: #ffffff;”>casinos are what’s supposed to be going into the state’s capital plans,” Syverson said.
#222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: small; background-color: #ffffff;” />#222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: small; background-color: #ffffff;”>“That’s the money that’s supposed to be used for rebuilding our infrastructure, our
#222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: small; background-color: #ffffff;” />#222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: small; background-color: #ffffff;”>schools, our state buildings, our roads. That’s all being delayed.”

#222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: small; background-color: #ffffff;” />#222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: small; background-color: #ffffff;”>Revenue from the gambling expansion package was earmarked to help fund “Rebuild
#222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: small; background-color: #ffffff;” />#222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: small; background-color: #ffffff;”>Illinois,” a six-year, $45 billion capital infrastructure plan.

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