IGCB Approved Rockford Temp Casino Exec Personnel, Investors

A temporary casino project in Illinois moved a step further after the state gaming regulator approved a series of businesses, owners and executive personnel to run the facility.

Management Personnel Approved

The Illinois Gaming Control Board (IGCB) approved the chief investors behind the temporary Hard Rock casino in Rockford, the owner of Dotty’s gambling café chain Dan Fischer, as well as Hard Rock International (HRI) CEO James Allen and HRI chief operation officer Jon Lucas.

“This is a giant step forward. We’re grateful to the state of Illinois and the Illinois Gaming Board for their support. We’re excited to get this project up and running, beginning with the construction of the temporary casino.”

Jon Lucas, COO, HRI

The $8.8-million project to build a temporary casino in the former location of Giovanni’s Restaurant and Convention Center was given the green light by the regulator last month. Spread across 37,790 square feet and featuring around 620 slot machines, two restaurants and a retail area, the temporary project is expected to be built within three months.

“It won’t be long before we need people to join our team and we plan to share more details on how the community can participate through employment and supplier roles in the days and weeks ahead.”

Jon Lucas, COO, HRI

Financial Contribution to the City

The temporary casino is set to contribute 15% or more of its net revenue, but not less than $1.82 million in the first year of operation, and 5% or more but no less than $1.07 million in each subsequent year, to the city of Rockford.

Speaking about the project, Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara outlined the extraordinary amount of work done behind the scenes and time and energy devoted to reaching this point of the casino project.

The temporary casino is expected to operate for about two years until the permanent $311 million Hard Rock Casino Rockford at the entrance to Interstate 90 and East State Street at the former location of the Clock Tower Resort is under construction.

Housing around 2,000 gaming seats on its floor, six restaurants and a convention center, the permanent venue is expected to create 1,000 well-paid full-time jobs, according to the information provided by the developer.

IGCB also approved five associated businesses related to the temporary casino project, as well as the owners of 815 Entertainment, the company owning the location of the temporary casino, as additional owner investors.