City council officials in Rockford have approved a Hard Rock International bid to build a casino in that part of the state.
According to Casino.org, the company is now awaiting the approval for state regulators before beginning construction on a facility that will hold 1,500-slot machines and 55 game tables. Already the owners of 11 casinos in the U.S., Hard Rock is said to have beat out at least two other operators vying for the right to begin construction in Rockford.
“Under the agreement, the city finds that the project is in the best interest of the city and state," the Rockford City Council said in a statement. "The project will combat community blight and improve the quality of life, support and promote tourism in the city and state, and provide additional tax revenue.”
Rockford's Democratic Mayor Tom McNamara is on record in asserting the city hopes to annually generate at least $7 million from the deal. Hard Rock is also vowing to cover various temporary and permanent casino fees, including paying 15 percent of net income or upward of $1.8 million to the city over the course of the venue's first year of operation.
With a casino also under construction in nearby Beloit, Wisconsin, Illinois state officials are now hoping to fast-track the project in Rockford.