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Casinos Awaiting Approval in Illinois

The state of Illinois continues to make news in the gambling industry for all of the wrong reasons. Illinois has been slow to make any key decisions, and this time they are keeping developers and their casino plans in limbo.

The Illinois Gaming Board is the governing body of the gambling industry in Illinois, and they will meet again in just two weeks. It’s unclear what will be on the meeting agenda this time around, but there are still many casino license applications that are still pending.

Illinois Gaming Board spokesmen Gene O’Shea announced that the agenda for the meeting would be released two days before the meeting takes place, and developers have their fingers crossed for a decision. The IGB met on June 11, but they have not held a meeting since that time.

The coronavirus pandemic has kept the IGB from holding meetings, but it has also created some new obstacles for the committee. There are also several sports betting license applications that need to be reviewed, and that will likely take place at this meeting as well.

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There have been 10 casino applications submitted since last October, and the Illinois Gaming Board has been busy reviewing all of them. At some point, the IGB will be forced to make a decision, and developers are hoping it comes at the end of this month.

The expanded gaming law that was passed in June 2019 awarded a new casino to five communities in the state. These five communities are Danville, Rockford, Waukegan, Williamson County, and the south suburbs of Chicago.

All of the current racetracks in the state will be eligible to apply for a casino license as well, and several have already submitted their application. Downtown Chicago is set to receive a casino as well, but that has been a hot topic of debate as well.

The board has until Oct. 30 to come to a decision on each application, and the city of Danville is losing patience. Haven Gaming was the group that submitted the official application to the IGB, but it was eventually rejected.

Haven recently informed the IGB that some of the leaders in that proposal have since changed, and they are hoping for another chance. The group is now self-funded, and they are ready to get to work on their project as soon as they receive the license from the IGB.

Delays Costing Casinos Money

Danville is one city that could use a boost in its economy, and the new casino project would do just that. If the IGB continues to delay its official decision, Danville is set to lose out on millions of dollars in potential revenue.

The city of Danville sits right on the border of Indiana and Illinois, and the proposed location of the casino would touch the state border. This could prove to be a great spot to build a new casino, but the state of Indiana has also awarded the city of Terre Haute a casino license.

Terre Haute is just about an hour south of Danville, and the area could potentially see two new casino projects. The Hard Rock casino in Terre Haute is expected to break ground in September, and the Danville proposal could fall behind in the race.

A similar battle is also happening in the Rockford area, and that city is waiting on official approval as well. Beloit, Wisc., is also waiting on a casino proposal to be approved, and these two cities are less than 20 minutes from each other.

The Illinois Gaming Board continues to move slowly, and it is costing the state and potential developers millions of dollars. It will be interesting to see what is on the agenda for the meeting set for later this month.

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