The Illinois Gaming Board unanimously approved Wilmot Gaming, a New York-based company, to break ground on its Golden Nugget Danville project. The casino will be located in Danville around 140 miles south of Chicago. The new property will offer a larger gaming floor, consisting of 500 slots.
Details about the Danville Casino
Reports indicate that the new Illinois casino should take around 11 months to finish up its first phase of construction. Thanks to the new venue around 300 jobs will be created in the community. Rickey Williams, the mayor of Danville, stated that groundbreaking should begin next month.
It took a long two years for the casino to receive its final approval. Williams commented on the approval by stating:
“It has been a tough wait, so it has been a lot of relief and excitement to hear not only a yes, but seven yes’s.”
The Danville casino is expected to bring economic development to the area due to its location. The closest casino to Danville and nearby cities is Peoria and Indianapolis. With the new venue, locals will be able to visit with no need to travel long distances.
The casino is also close to the Indiana state line, so it will bring in people from the state and nearby Indianapolis. This will help Danville by bringing in more revenues.
Bringing New Casinos to Illinois
In 2019, a gaming package was signed into law by Governor J.B. Pritzker that legalized six new casinos. Gambling was approved way back in 1990 and this was the first time that new additions were authorized in quite some time. Sports betting was also in the mix with slot games approved for outside casinos.
Unfortunately, after the law was passed, the COVID-19 pandemic began. This delayed the new casinos from construction. So far, only the Hard Rock Rockford Casino is able to take wagers from players. Other venues have been approved aside from Danville, including one in Waukegan and near Homewood.
Of course, all eyes are on Chicago, as a casino can be added to the major metropolitan area. So far, a decision has not been made on who will obtain the license. The gambling timeline of the city was pushed back due to tax rate consideration.
The rate was considered too high, so a consultant was hired to reconfigure the numbers. Operators would be unable to turn a profit based on the current rate. At the time, Mayor Lori Lightfoot had to work a deal to lower the rate.
Now, the mayor is considering five proposals for a Chicago casino. She is expected to make her choice soon and then the proposal will move on to the Gaming Board.