Press Release - Thursday, June 15, 2023
Illinois Gaming Board Finds Chicago Casino Applicant Preliminarily Suitable
Issues Casino and Sports Wagering Licenses to Waukegan Casino, Renews Quad Cities Casino License, and Approves Extensions for Operations at Rockford and Waukegan Temporary Casino Facilities
The Illinois Gaming Board (the "IGB" or "Board") found Chicago casino license applicant Bally's Chicago Operating Company, LLC ("Bally's Chicago") preliminarily suitable at its June 15 public meeting, meaning Bally's can continue preparing its site for gaming and hiring the employees necessary to operate a casino. The Board also awarded casino and sports wagering licenses to the American Place Casino in Waukegan, approved 12-month extensions for temporary casino operations in Waukegan and Rockford, and renewed the license of Bally's Quad Cities Casino and Hotel for another 4-year term during its regularly scheduled meeting today.
"The Board's determination of preliminary suitability for Bally's Chicago Casino is a significant, but not final, step in the regulatory process to open a casino in the City of Chicago," said IGB Administrator Marcus D. Fruchter. "The IGB will continue to work with Bally's Chicago and other stakeholders to complete the remaining statutory requirements in an efficient, ethical and compliant manner."
Preliminary suitability allows an applicant to undertake and complete certain required tasks that will culminate in a pre-opening audit, a practice gaming session, and potential issuance of a temporary operating permit. The casino may open to the public when the next step is achieved: a temporary operating permit allows the holder to open its casino for gambling at either a temporary or permanent facility in advance of licensure. The matters to be assessed prior to commencement of gaming are found under Section (e) of Casino Rule 230.
At the board meeting, the IGB:
• Granted preliminary suitability for Bally's Chicago Operating Company, LLC under Casino Rule 230(d). Actual operation of temporary and permanent casino facilities is subject to future IGB regulatory approvals at the appropriate time after construction is completed;
• Granted FHR-Illinois LLC d/b/a American Place ("FHR"), a Casino Owners License and a Master Sports Wagering License;
• Approved a one-year extension for FHR to operate The Temporary by American Place Casino in Waukegan while it constructs its permanent casino facility. With the extension, FHR may operate its temporary casino facility for a total of three years from the date the temporary casino opened until February 17, 2026;
• Approved a one-year extension for 815 Entertainment, LLC d/b/a Hard Rock Rockford Casino ("HRCR") to operate the Rockford Casino - A Hard Rock Opening Act while it constructs its permanent casino facility for a total of three years from the date the temporary casino opened until November 10, 2024;
• Approved the renewal of a four-year Casino Owners License for Bally's Quad Cities Casino & Hotel. The casino, which is in Rock Island, began operating in 1992;
• Approved a settlement with Accel Entertainment Gaming, LLC to fully resolve a pending 2020 disciplinary complaint. Under the terms of the settlement, Accel acknowledged that its conduct underlying the disciplinary complaint did not meet the IGB's standards and expectations for licensed video gaming terminal operators; agreed to pay a $1 million fine, plus an additional $125,000 to reimburse the IGB's administrative and investigative costs associated with the disciplinary complaint for a total payment of $1.125M; and committed to enhanced compliance training, monitoring and reporting requirements;
• Granted more than 460 new gaming licenses and related approvals for casino gambling, video gaming and sports wagering along with renewal of existing licenses;
For video gaming, the IGB approved licenses for:
o 1 video gaming terminal operators
o 95 video gaming locations
o 40 terminal handlers and one technician
The IGB denied licenses for:
o 4 locations and 2 terminal handlers
For casinos, the IGB approved licenses for:
o 6 level 1 casino occupational licenses
o 130 level 2 casino occupational licenses
o 108 level 3 casino occupational licenses
For sports wagering, the IGB approved licenses for:
o 66 level 2 sports wagering occupational licenses
o 5 key persons
o 1 Master sports wagering license
Illinois is home to 13 casinos, more than 8,300 licensed video gaming establishments and ten sportsbooks. Casino gambling, video gaming and sports wagering generated more than $1.4 billion in tax revenue to the state and local communities in calendar year 2022.
The IGB serves as the state regulatory and law enforcement agency, overseeing all licensed casino gambling, video gaming and sports wagering to ensure the integrity and safety of gambling while generating revenue for the state and gaming host communities.