The Golden Nugget Casino is now open in Danville, beating recent projections that the opening might not come until sometime this week.
The 13th Illinois casino opened on Saturday afternoon, giving the facility the chance to take advantage of Memorial Day Weekend traffic.
The Illinois Gaming Board completed its inspections late last week and granted the Danville casino a temporary operating permit before the start of the holiday weekend. The $105 million casino opened at 4 p.m. on Saturday.
On Monday, the casino posted a statement on its Facebook page saying:
“Thank you to everyone that came out and had a ball with us this weekend. We couldn’t of asked for a better crowd. Way to show up… Let’s do it again this week.”
Danville Development LLC president Jimmy Wilmot told Yahoo he was, “Ecstatic, overjoyed, excited, incredibly grateful. Our company is 3 1/2 years into this, but the city has wanted this almost 30 years. It’s a great moment for me and our company but an even better moment for the city.”
Wilmot’s family owns Wilmorite Management Group, one of the casino project’s partners.
13th Illinois casino was 13 months in the making
Construction on the Danville casino began in late April 2022. The initial plan — based on staffing levels — is for the Golden Nugget to be open eight hours a day, six days a week for those 21 or older.
The Illinois casino, located at 204 Eastgate Drive off Lynch Road, is open Memorial Day from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m. and closed on Tuesday. The current plan is for the casino to be closed on Tuesdays going forward.
The casino’s temporary hours are:
- Mondays and Wednesdays through Saturday — 4 p.m. to midnight
- Sundays — 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
The Danville casino’s Facebook page appealed to the public to “please be patient and kind. Some of our team members may be a bit nervous.”
A grand opening will be announced at a later date
What’s already open at Golden Nugget Danville
Some 500 slot machines and 14 table games already are available to gamblers. A sports bar and the Saltgrass Steak House (with temporary hours of 4-9 p.m.) are also open.
The slots vary from traditional machines to current video technology. The table games include:
- 3-card poker
- Ultimate Texas Hold ‘Em
- Mississippi Stud
The sportsbook is said to be open soon.
Golden Nugget will contribute $25 million to state construction projects in first month
IGB spokesperson Beth Kaufman told Illinois Newsroom that officials were on site last week and “they went through a number of procedures that are required by law, which includes practice gaming sessions and other regulatory requirements that the casino must meet. And the Golden Nugget casino met those.”
Kaufman also said that within 30 days Illinois will receive $25 million from the Golden Nugget Casino Danville. The money will go toward construction projects state-wide.
In March, developers of the casino handed the city of Danville a $1 million check as part of the Host Community Agreement Golden Nugget made with the city. That money will go toward the city’s riverfront development. Wilmorite agreed to contribute $3 million in donations. The riverfront development, the Boys and Girls Club of Danville and the Danville Municipal Project will divide the total donation.
Danville officials have long pursued a casino to grow both revenue and job opportunities. The go-ahead finally came from the state of Illinois in its 2019 gambling expansion.
Prior to the opening of the Danville casino, The Temporary by Full House Resorts in Waukegan was the most recent casino to open in the Prairie State. It opened on Feb. 27. PlayIllinois was there shortly thereafter to write a review.