Rockford Casino Progess Stalled | Alton Daily News


#222222; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: small; background-color: #ffffff;”>Advocates for a Rockford casino are concerned about a nearby Wisconsin project that
#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;”>continues to move forward.

#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 project planned for Beloit, just over the border, now has received final approval from
#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;”>Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers. The final step entails the Bureau of Indian Affairs
#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;”>approving the placement of the land into a trust.

#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;”>Meanwhile, 15 miles south, a proposal for a 65,000-square-foot Hard Rock Casino 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;”>Rockford is stalled, awaiting action from the Illinois Gaming 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;”>“You would think that the state, to get something like this and to get the ‘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;”>brand, that they would be chipping at this thing to try to get this moving forward as
#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;”>quickly as possible,” said State Sen. Dave Syverson, R-Rockford. “Yet here we are 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;”>month nineteen and it’s still not done.”

#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;”>Syverson, a longtime advocate of a Rockford casino, helped push through the 2019
#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;”>gambling expansion bill, which gave the city the opportunity to apply for a license. He’s
#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;”>concerned about the consequences of being second to break ground.

#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;”>“We’re talking about a 10-minute difference,” Syverson said. “Depending on where
#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;”>you’re at, it’s right down the road at I-90. It’s very close. It’s clearly going to be an
#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;”>economic concern for us when they get open, especially if they open before we can.”

#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 proposal for Rockford includes a 1,600-seat Hard Rock Live venue. The Beloit
#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;”>project is slated to feature a casino, hotel, convention center and waterpark.

#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 had Rockford’s application in-hand since September of
#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;”>2019. The board initially had up to twelve months to make a decision, but members
#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;”>granted themselves an extension late last year, which is allowed under 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;”>Gambling Act.
#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;”>Representatives from the Gaming Board did not reply to a request for comment.
#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;”>With competition looming north of the state border, Syverson says the frustration is
#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;”>building.

#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;”>“Last September was one year,” Syverson said. “And so now we’re at going into month
#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;”>19 and we still don’t have a final approval to move forward with at least the temporary
#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. That’s the part that’s very frustrating. Nineteen months just to get a clean, simple
#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;”>application 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;”>He hopes for word soon so groundbreaking can take place this calendar year and give
#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 a chance to beat Wisconsin to opening day. A site for a temporary casino, not
#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;”>far from the permanent location, already has been identified. However, work on that
#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;”>venue also cannot begin until further again from 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;”>The next meeting of the Illinois Gaming Board is set for April 21. The agenda has not 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;”>been made public.

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