Rockford sets date, guidelines for public hearing on casino proposals

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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) -- In two weeks, the public is invited to learn more about the three casino proposals.

The hearing is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Sept. 23 at the Coronado Performing Arts Center. Doors open at 5 p.m.

One group, Luna Entertainment, turned in plans for a Forest City casino near the Javon Bea Hospital-Riverside. That casino would sit on 135 acres of land.

Wisconsin-based Gorman and Company's casino plans are in downtown Rockford, near the soon-to-be Embassy Suites Hotel near Davis Park. That proposal also includes an aquarium.

Hard Rock International wants to build just off I-90 on East State Street, where the Clock Tower once stood. It carries the "star power" of Rick Nielsen, of Cheap Trick fame, and his family.

The three proposals came in shortly before the deadline, Aug. 30.

The Illinois Gaming Act requires the City to hold the public hearing in order to certify the proposals on several factors:

- that the Applicant has negotiated with the City in good faith

- that the Applicant and the City have mutually agreed on the permanent location of the casino

- that the Applicant and the City have mutually agreed on the temporary location of the casino

- that the Applicant and the City have mutually agreed on the percentage of revenues that will be shared with the City

- that the Applicant and the City have mutually agreed on any zoning, licensing, public health, or other issues that are within the jurisdiction of the municipality or county

- that the City Council has passed a resolution or ordinance in support of the casino

Each applicant has 45 minutes to make a formal presentation.

Written comments can be submitted any time prior to the public hearing. Send them to Legal Director Nicholas Meyer at Nicholas.meyer@rockfordil.gov.

The full city council will vote on the proposals and send its recommendation to the Illinois Gaming Board for final approval.