Beloit proposes casino, Illinois state lawmakers worry about loc - – Rockford’s News Leader

Beloit proposes casino, Illinois state lawmakers worry about local impact


The City of Beloit says it's one step closer to adding a casino and the Ho Chunk Nation says it wants to build it. 

You'd see 2,200 slot machines and gaming tables, a 40,000 square foot water park, 300 hotel rooms as well as shops and restaurants.

"That just adds urgency to that reason why we need that gaming expansion bill here in the Rockford area," Sen. Steve Stadelman, D-Rockford says.  

The idea of a casino in Rockford has been thrown around for years. 

"For the city, we're talking $5 to 6 million a year in revenue," Sen. Dave Syverson, R-Rockford, says. "That closes a big gap they have in their budget" 

However, a push for one this past legislative session didn't reach a vote in the Illinois House -- a move that could have brought a casino to the Forest City. Now, a potential casino across the state line has our area lawmakers worried if Rockford could see its own. 

"We have five states around Illinois that have really declared economic war on Illinois they are building casinos right on the borders, they're marketing Illinois people," Syverson says.  

Meanwhile, Beloit leaders look to capitalize on Illinois' workforce. The project could bring in 1,500 jobs and 3,000 construction jobs. 

"We may not have enough people to fill all of those jobs," Beloit's city manager, Lori Luther says. "So, we think that there will be an influx from South Beloit -- just a stone slur away -- to the remainder of Rock County and potentially beyond."

While Wisconsin looks to make moves on a casino -- Rockford leaders they'll still work to bring one to the Forest City.  

That project still needs approval from the Wisconsin legislature. Leaders say they hope to have it open by 2022. 

Powered by Frankly