Native American Owned Casinos Two of the six new casinos will be owned by Native American tribes. The Hard Rock Casino in Rockford is owned by the Seminole Indian Tribe of Florida, and the Wind Creek Chicago Southland in the Homewood/East Hazel Crest area is owned by the Poarch Band of Creek Indians in Alabama. These two casinos will operate as commercial casinos under Illinois laws rather than as Indian gaming casinos under federal regulation.
New Illinois Casinos in 2023
The Rebuild Illinois Law enacted in June 2019 authorizes six new casinos to be built in the following cities:
Minimum gambling ages are 21 years old for casinos, 21 for poker, 18 for bingo, 21 for sports betting, 18 for horse racing, 18 for the lottery.
Massive Illinois Gambling Expansion
June 29, 2019
When Gov. Pritzker sign the Rebuild Illinois Act into law June 29, 2019, a massive gambling expansion was launched in Illinois.
The law legalizes sports betting, authorizes six new land-based casinos, authorizes casino gambling at all three horse tracks and two future tracks, allows 7,000 video gambling machines at locations across the state, and adds 5,000 sports betting kiosks at retail locations with lottery kiosks.
In February 1990 Illinois became the second state in the nation to legalize riverboat gambling when the state legislature enacted the Riverboat Gambling Act authorizing the Illinois Gaming Board to issue up to ten casino licenses.
You must be 21 years of age to enter the gambling areas of an Illinois casino.
The Riverboat Gambling Act requires that all casino wagering must use tokens, chips or electronic cards. No cash. Each casino is authorized up to operate 1,200 gaming positions. Casinos may have two vessels at one docksite, but cannot have more than 1,200 gaming positions between both vessels.
Five tribes propose building commercial casinos in Illinois
October 25, 2019
Illinois has authorized six new casinos to be licensed and built under the Rebuild Illinois Act signed into law by Gov. Pritzker on June 29, 2019. The six locations for these new casinos are Chicago, Danvillle, Rockford, South Suburbs, Walker's Bluff and Waukegan.
Casino applicants have submitted proposals to local governments for review and approval. All approved proposals will be forwarded this week to the Illinois Gaming Board for final approval and licensing. The Board may take up to one year to complete the process.
Among the many casino applicants are five Native American tribes which all own successful casino operations in other states. In Illinois they are seeking to build state-licensed commercial casinos rather than federally authorized Indian gaming casinos.
These are the tribes that have submitted casino proposals:
Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma has proposed a $300 million casino hotel in Matteson Village, a south suburb of Chicago. (See story)
Ho-Chunk Nation of Wisconsin has proposed building a $300 million commercial casino and hotel on land it owns in Lynwood, Illinois, south of Chicago. (See story)
Seminole Tribe of Florida owns Hard Rock International, which has been approved by the Rockford City Council to build a $310 million casino hotel. (See story)
Potawatomi of Forest County, Wisconsin, has proposed building a casino in the City of Waukegan, Illinnois. (See story)
Poarch Creek Indians of Alabama, and owners of Wind Creek Hospitality has proposed building a $275 million casino about 26 miles south of Chicago in the communities of East Hazel Crest and Homewood. (See story)
Illinois Authorizes Sports Betting & Six New Casinos
June 29, 2019
Courtesy of State Journal Register
Gambling has been greatly expanded in Illinois after a $45B infrastructure plan was signed into law by Governor J.B. Pritzker yesterday.
The new law named "Rebuild Illinois" is designed to create 540,000 new jobs from state-financed construction projects for transportation, education, high-speed internet, healthcare and the environment.
The Rebuild Illinois Law will be paid for by new revenues from expanded gambling, a 19-cents hike in the state gasoline tax, and $1 more tax on a pack of cigarettes.
The new revenues from gambling will come from legalization of sports betting and licensing fees and tax revenues from six new casinos.
Illinois Gaming Board will licensee and regulate all sports betting within the state. The type of license and its rules for operation will be based on the business of the applicant. Upon licensing all successful applicant may immediately operate their sports book online.
Licenses for "brick and mortar" businesses will be issued to all qualified casinos, racinos and sports venues with over 17,000 spectator seats.
All wagering accounts must be set up at a licensed sport book facility during the first 18 months.
Three online licenses will be issued to web operators. The first will be issued after 18 months of brick and mortar operation.
The Illinois Lottery will install and operate sports betting terminals at retail locations with lottery kiosks. There will be 2,500 lottery sports betting terminals in the first year and another 2,5000 terminals added in the second year.
The state has prohibited betting on Illinois college teams.
Under the new law the total number of state-sponsored gambling positions is increased by 36,000 on top of the existing 44,000. These "gambling positions" are defined as seats to place a bet. New casinos will be allowed up to 2,000 positions.
The Illinois Gaming Board will issue gaming licenses to six new casinos. Each will be a privately-owned, land-based casino regulated by the gaming board.
A maximum number of gambling positions is specified under this law for each of the six new casinos:
Chicago Maximum 4,000 gambling positions
Danville Maximum 2,000 gambling positions
Rockford Maximum 2,000 gambling positions
South Suburbs Maximum 2,000 gambling positions
Walker's Bluff Maximum 1,200 gambling positions
Waukegan Maximum 2,000 gambling positions
RACINOS (Racetrack Casinos)
The three Illinois horsetracks will be licensed to add casino games. Two new racinos are allowed under the new law. The number of live racing dates will be increased at each track.
VIDEO GAMING MACHINES
The Illinois Gaming Board will license up to 7,000 video gambling machines at independent locations across the state. The maximum number of terminals is 5 per location. Bets are limited to $2 to $4.
Possibly six new casinos could be developed in the state if a proposed gaming expansion measure is approved by Illinois lawmakers. On Monday the measure will be discussed by the Illinois House Executive Committee.
It is expected that the proposed measure will receive approval to move forward. The measure would allow for two horse racing tracks to be converted into a casino. One of the race tracks is located in Arlinton.
One concern over the proposal has to do with Rivers Casino. Rivers Casino currently pays the state and host city Des Plains nearly $10 million yearly from tax revenue. Provisions are being requested that would help protect the yearly tax amount that Des Plains receives. The money paid to the casino host city goes towards infrastructure, road maintance, and sidewalk repair.
In 2011 Rivers Casino opened. In order to receive the gaming license for the casino, there was an agreement made that for the next 30 years a payment of $10 million would be made to the state. Of the remaining revenue, 40% would be paid to the 10 nearby communities. However, if there are more casinos added to the state the chance of revenue earned at Rivers Casino will most likely go down.
Locations for the other casinos has not been decided. Proposals have been made for Danville, Carbondale, Chicago, Rockford, and Waukegan. The Chicago location would be located in a section of the O'Hare Airport and a separate standalone location. 4,000 slot machines would be in operation in Chicago.
For many years owners and advocates for horse track racing venues have sought the addition of electronic gaming machines. If the proposed measure is approved, the race tracks would be allowed to offer these types of games.
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