Proposed Casino in Beloit Could Affect Forest City's Plans

By: Stephen Johnson
By: Stephen Johnson

ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- The stakes for a Rockford casino are higher than ever thanks to the city of Beloit’s preliminary agreement with Ho-Chunk Nation that would set the stage for a new gambling facility to be built in the Wisconsin community. A move that lawmakers say doesn't bode well for the Forest City.

"This really is an issue of who does something first. If the tribes are able to approve a casino and build it in Beloit, nothing would ever be built in the Rockford area because they can't compete."

Senator Dave Syverson says losing out to Beloit would mean a missed chance at adding new jobs and revenue to the economy. The Illinois gaming bill that would have approved a new gambling facility in Rockford failed in November and the House's spring veto session could be the soonest it's discussed again. Supporters of a Forest City casino aren't the only ones worried, anti-gambling organizations think the move would have a negative effect on the Stateline.

"The closer a casino is to a community, the more likely that community will have problems with pathological gamblers. That's the key in all of this. No, I'm not happy about a casino coming to Beloit even if it stops one coming to Rockford because it's only 15 miles away”, says Rev. Dr. Mike Solberg of the ‘No Casino in Rockford’ coalition.

Ho-Chunk's preliminary plans include a convention center and waterpark to accompany the casino, providing more entertainment than a Rockford facility could. If the new gambling center ends up in Beloit, local residents say the distance won't affect them.

Rockford resident Peter Graceffa says, "I would make the extra distance. Strictly for convenience sake, the second closest option would be two to three times further away."

The Beloit City Council and Rock County Board still need to sign off on the deal with Ho-Chunk before plans can move forward. A public hearing on the agreement is scheduled for January 17.


You must be logged in to post comments.

Username:
Password (case sensitive):
Remember Me:

Read Comments

Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Douglas Location: Northern IL on Jan 13, 2012 at 04:49 AM
    Yes we can blame all our elected officials as they play the blame game. I don't gamble, I can think of better ways to spend my money, but Casinos are also noted for thier (inexpensive) food and live entertainment too. So even if you don't gamble there are other things you can do at the Casinos.
  • by Richard Location: Durand on Jan 11, 2012 at 05:22 AM
    I hope Rockford dries up and blows away, they had their chances over and over again and they are too stupid to realize this. they are running sorts score out, they didn't want the race track at the air port,too noisy, and they sure as heck don,t want a casino, don,t these dumbasses realize how much revenue and how many jobs would be created here,Rockford already has the wrong element, just look at downtown at the riff raff down there.
  • by James on Jan 9, 2012 at 09:32 AM
    Forest city's plans? This city has high unemployment, high crime, and a poor education system but we have bike paths! Seriously, the Forest city's plans need to be updated. Quit spending our tax dollars on crap like bike paths and artsy BS and spend on things we need like police officers, firemen, better roads, a better school system and things like that. But what do I know?
  • by john Location: rockford on Jan 9, 2012 at 09:15 AM
    I hope Beloit gets it, Rockford will never do anything to helps it self.All we hear is downtown,downtown is dead no one wants to go down there. Look at what happen to the waterfront would never go there again.
  • by sammy Location: no. illinois on Jan 9, 2012 at 08:37 AM
    They have been talking about a casino in Rockford for so many years, and yet the politicians think we believe them. You snooze, you loose. At least Wisconsin is moving forward. Not sitting around trying to see if us country bumpkins really need a casino or if they should just put another one in the Chicago area, where everything else goes.
  • by Tom on Jan 9, 2012 at 08:03 AM
    There's nothing that says people from Rockford couldn't get jobs there. People from Rockford work at Belvidere and worked at GM (conversely people from Janesville have worked at Chrysler). It's only the direct benefit to the city of Rockford government and state government that will be missing.
  • by Stephen Location: Rockford on Jan 9, 2012 at 07:49 AM
    What do you expect from a State thats run by a bunch of crooks
  • by James on Jan 9, 2012 at 05:30 AM
    Forest city's plans? This city has high unemployment, high crime, and a poor education system but we have bike paths! Seriously, the Forest city's plans need to be updated. Quit spending our tax dollars on crap like bike paths and artsy BS and spend on things we need like police officers, firemen, better roads, a better school system and things like that. But what do I know?
  • by Fred Location: Rockford on Jan 9, 2012 at 04:15 AM
    Good move and smart thinking for the state of Wis. Illinois lawmakers are just too dumb or stupid to do anything to make the state better. Look what they are doing with the Thompson prison!
  • by ray Location: m.p. ill on Jan 9, 2012 at 04:10 AM
    you people voted for quinn and this is what you get with that loser, period ?
    • reply
      by Tom on Jan 9, 2012 at 08:01 AM in reply to ray
      What do you mean Quinn? The state legislature voted it out!
  • Page:
23 WIFR 2523 North Meridian Road Rockford, IL. 61101 Business: 815-987-5300 Fax: 815-965-0981 News: 815-987-5330 Fax: 815-987-5333
Copyright © 2002-2016 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 136920453 - wifr.com/a?a=136920453
Gray Television, Inc.