Penn Entertainment‘s plan to relocate its two riverboat casinos, Hollywood Casino Aurora and Hollywood Casino Joliet, to land-based locations has been approved by the Illinois Gaming Board (IGB). Penn will invest over $500 million in reconstructing the venues to make them more accessible.
Hollywood Casino Aurora will be relocated to a $360 million venue near the Chicago Premium Outlets mall and the Fermilab campus. The casino will have 900 slots and 50 tables, as well as a 200-room hotel, bars and restaurants, meeting space, and an event center.
Hollywood Casino Joliet will move to a land-based casino at Rock Run Crossings, built on a 309-acre piece of land approved for a 570-unit apartment complex. The venue will feature 800 slot machines, 45 live table games, a Barstool Sportsbook, several restaurants and bars, and an event center.
According to IGB administrator Marcus D. Fruchter, the approval of the relocation proposals is a significant step in the regulatory process to bring new gaming venues to the host communities. The IGB will work with Penn Entertainment to ensure that the relocated casino venues are constructed, opened, and operated efficiently, ethically, and compliantly.
In February, Full House Resorts opened Temporary by American Place in Lake County, the only casino in the area, with approximately 1,000 slot machines and 50 table games. The temporary venue will be used until the larger $400 million American Place opens, which is slated for late 2025.
In March, Illinois casinos produced $131m in adjusted gross revenue, representing a 12.2% increase from February’s $115m. Compared to the same period in 2022, the figures rose by 10%. It was the first time this year that casino earnings exceeded $120m. The Temporary Casino at American Place operated by Full House Resorts contributed $7.3m to the total revenue, accounting for 71% of the year-on-year increase. Meanwhile, Rivers Casino generated $43m, Grand Victoria Casino $12.2m, Harrah’s Joliet $10.6m, Hollywood Aurora $7.9m, and Hollywood Joliet $7.6m.