The Illinois Gaming Board (IGB) has given the green light to the launch of a new sportsbook at the Hard Rock Casino in Rockford. 815 Entertainment, operating as Hard Rock Casino Rockford, was granted a sports wagering operator license. Additionally, Seminole Hard Rock Digital received the necessary regulatory approval as a sports wagering management service provider.
Hard Rock Must Comply with Illinois Gaming Board Rules Before Full Launch
The Illinois Gaming Board (IGB) has given the green light for the eagerly awaited launch of a new sportsbook at the renowned Hard Rock Casino in Rockford. Following the approval, 815 Entertainment, operating as Hard Rock Casino Rockford, has been granted a coveted sports wagering operator license, while Seminole Hard Rock Digital has been approved as a sports wagering management service provider.
However, before the casino can kick off its sports betting operations, it must ensure compliance with the IGB’s rules, both for in-person and online wagering services. With these necessary steps in mind, the casino aims to introduce sports betting offerings to its customers within the next two months.
Seminole Hard Rock Digital, already established as a prominent player in the industry, currently operates online sportsbooks in various other states. Last year, the division successfully launched its products in Indiana and Tennessee, building on its existing online services catering to players in New Jersey and Iowa. This expansion further solidifies the casino’s position in the US gaming landscape, as it continues to cater to the growing demand for sports betting services across the country.
Digital Gaming Corporation (DGC) Reapplying for Illinois License
During a recent meeting, the Illinois Gaming Board (IGB) addressed several critical regulatory matters, with particular attention given to the sportsbook license issued to Hard Rock. As discussions unfolded, Digital Gaming Corporation (DGC) emerged as the sole remaining applicant for a new online-only state sports wagering license.
DGC IL LLC had previously applied for a license last year but withdrew its bid. However, after being acquired by Guernsey-based Super Group, Betway’s holding company, the sports betting and iGaming business has decided to reapply, seeking approval from the IGB. Before final approval is granted, DGC will undergo further checks and must pay a substantial $20 million licensing fee.
Notably, the other applicant for an online-only betting license, Bet J&J, withdrew its application earlier this month. The state had initially opened up the application process for a total of three online-only licenses, making DGC’s reapplication a significant development in the ever-evolving Illinois sports betting landscape. As the regulatory process continues, industry stakeholders await further updates from the IGB regarding the progress of license approvals and the expansion of online betting offerings within the state.
Hard Rock Hotel Broke Ground in Ottawa in June 2023
Exciting developments are underway in Ottawa as Hard Rock embarked on the construction of its highly anticipated Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in the Canadian capital in June 2023. Valued at an impressive $350 million, this ambitious project is poised to make a significant impact on the local economy by generating approximately 1,900 job opportunities, according to Hard Rock’s recent announcement.
The centerpiece of the establishment will be the expanded Hard Rock Casino, boasting an impressive array of entertainment options, including over 1,500 slot machines, 40 live-action table games, and an enticing Hard Rock Sportsbook. For enthusiasts seeking the thrill of high-stakes gaming, the facility will cater to their desires with a dedicated high-limit gaming area and an alluring Baccarat room.
The all-encompassing resort will not only cater to gaming enthusiasts but will also offer luxurious accommodations with 150 well-appointed rooms, featuring 22 premium suites for an elevated experience. Entertainment will be taken to the next level with the inclusion of an 1,800-seat Hard Rock Live theater, promising to host an array of captivating performances and events. Moreover, the project is set to contribute substantially to the region’s finances, with expected high tax revenues benefitting both the City of Ottawa and the province of Ontario. As anticipation grows, the residents of Ottawa eagerly await the grand opening of the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, eager to experience the premier entertainment destination firsthand.
Jon Lucas, chief operating officer at Hard Rock International, expressed excitement as they approached a significant milestone in their mission to introduce their iconic brand and storied music history to the residents of Ottawa and the surrounding region. He extended gratitude to the provincial and municipal elected officials for their support, acknowledging their vital contributions to reaching this stage of the project:
“We are excited to be one step closer to bringing our iconic brand and rich music history to the people of Ottawa and the surrounding region. I wish to thank the provincial and municipal elected officials who helped us get here today. We are especially grateful to the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation and the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario who have been incredibly supportive in helping make this possible.”– Jon Lucas, Chief Operating Officer, Hard Rock International, Press Release
Full House Launched Illinois Casino Back in November 2022
Promising developments are also on the horizon for casino enthusiasts in the Midwest as Full House Resorts, a prominent US land-based casino operator, unveiled not one, but two new casino facilities in Illinois and Colorado in November 2022. The company has set ambitious timelines for these projects, aiming to introduce the Illinois casino within the first three months of 2022 and commence operations at the Colorado location in mid-2023.
In Waukegan, Illinois, Full House Resorts product and systems testing commenced before the end of November 2022. The casino will boast a substantial collection of approximately 1,000 slot machines, scheduled for installation in early November 2022. Anticipation is high as the upcoming Illinois casino is expected to create numerous job opportunities, with over 400 offers for resort positions already extended.
Meanwhile, in Cripple Creek, Colorado, the Full House Resorts’ Chamonix project is well underway. The company recently celebrated a major milestone in September 2022 as construction reached its ‘topping off’ stage. As the projects continue to take shape, casino enthusiasts and job seekers alike eagerly await the grand openings of these two highly anticipated gaming destinations.
Marking the occasion was Full House Resorts president and chief executive Daniel Lee, who gave fans an exclusive look at its current plans, giving them an idea of the upcoming décor, while still keeping precise details under wraps:
“In Waukegan, Illinois, we are installing décor and are preparing for the installation of slot machines this week. We expect to have our entire slot floor installed and ready for testing before the end of November. As with all new casino openings, we have an extensive checklist to complete prior to welcoming our first customers. Therefore, while the company expects to open the casino within the next three months, the precise opening date is still uncertain.”
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