Illinois Gaming Board approves plans for casinos in Joliet/Aurora


Chicago Construction News staff writer

The Illinois Gaming Board has approved Penn Entertainment’s plans for new Hollywood Casinos in Aurora and Joliet.

“Today’s approval of the relocation proposals for the Hollywood Aurora and Hollywood Joliet Casinos are a significant step in the regulatory process to bring new gaming venues to these host communities,” said IGB administrator Marcus Fruchter. “The IGB will work with Penn Entertainment as it moves through the regulatory process to ensure these relocated casino venues are constructed, opened and operated in an efficient, ethical and compliant manner.”

The IGB also adopted a new rule requiring responsible gambling signage at all video gaming locations statewide, granted more than 400 new gaming licenses and related approvals along with renewals of existing licenses, issued a license to sportsbook operator Circa Sports, and adopted a rule clarifying video gaming annual fees.

At the board meeting, the IGB approved economic development proposals and property transactions for Penn Entertainment’s planned relocation of its Hollywood Casinos in Aurora and Joliet.

Construction, actual relocation and eventual operation of the new facilities will need future IGB approvals.

PENN intends to develop a new land-based casino and hotel adjacent to the Chicago Premium Outlets mall, near Exit 119 off I-88 in Aurora, which would replace the current Hollywood Casino Aurora riverboat property.

The development, with an estimated budget of $360 million, is expected to include a modern, best-in-class casino and hotel with about 900 slots and 50 live table games.

In addition, the property will feature a full-service spa, high-quality bars and restaurants, approximately 10,000 square feet of meeting areas and an event center. Construction of the new property is expected to begin in late 2023, subject to city and regulatory approval.

A new land-based casino in Joliet will be part of the Rock Run Crossings development project adjacent to the I-80 and I-55 interchange and several miles from the current Hollywood Casino Joliet riverboat property which it would replace.

The project will cost about $185 million, and include about 800 slots and 45 live table games, bars and restaurants, about 10,000 square feet of meeting areas and an event center.

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.


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