October opening planned for temporary Hard Rock Casino in Rockford

During a vendor fair on Wednesday, the October date was announced.
The Hard Rock Casino in Rockford will open in October of this year.
The Hard Rock Casino in Rockford will open in October of this year.(WIFR)
Published: Jul. 28, 2021 at 12:56 PM CDT
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - The Hard Rock Casino in Rockford is expected to open in October of this year.

During a vendor fair meeting on Wednesday, the October date was announced.

Hard Rock hosted a virtual vendor information session from noon to 1 p.m. on Wednesday. This gave local businesses a chance to learn more about Hard Rock and the partnership opportunities at the temporary casino.

A group of CEO’s, developers, investors and suppliers are all tasked with bringing a temporary and a permanent Hard Rock casino to Rockford.

“Lot’s of construction’s going on out at the temporary casino and they’re really moving forward with their benchmarks of 90-120 days to get that completed,” said Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara.

The temporary Hard Rock casino needs a team to get the operation up and running. The Illinois Gaming Board approved those team members and okayed licenses for various suppliers.

“The last thing that would have to be done then would just be a site visit by the gaming board approving all the games and the set up and that would be done just before the grand opening,” said 35th District State Senator Dave Syverson.

Syverson says we’re in a race against time, as Beloit just needs a green light from the Federal Government to open a casino run by the HoChunk Nation. Syverson explains the Hard Rock name is known around the world and could attract people from all over.

“The good news is our temporary site’s going to be opened up before the end of the year so that puts us a little bit ahead of the game,” Syverson said. “Then it comes down to how quickly the state approves our permanent site and we can get that constructed. It’s probably, realistically two years away.”

Syverson says the next step toward the permanent casino involves blueprints, which must also be okayed by the city of Rockford and the Illinois Gaming Board. Mayor McNamara hopes that will come soon.

“We want to make sure that we’re the first and it looks like we’re going to do that,” McNamara said.

The Illinois Gaming Board Administrator Marcus Fruchter says in the month of May alone, Illinois residents spent more than $2 billion at casinos or video gambling establishments. From that, the state received around $228 million in revenue that helps fix roads and fund schools.

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