Hard Rock Casino Rockford announced that patrons can expect the permanent casino to welcome bettors and casual patrons alike in fall 2023.
This has been the most solid timeline provided by Hard Rock thus far.
In the meantime, the Opening Act is a 37,000 square foot temporary casino placeholder until the permanent one is built and ready to rock.
The Opening Act has over 625 slots, electronic table games, and the choice of the Rock River Bar and Grill or the Midway Bar for dining and drink options.
From Jan. to Feb. 2022, the temporary casino reported over $11.7 million in total adjusted gross receipts, per the Illinois Gaming Board (IGB). This ranked 10th out of the 11 Illinois casinos.
Permanent casino features
The estimated total cost to build the casino is $310 million.
Inside, bettors will be greeted by 65,000 square feet of entertainment options. This will make it the largest Illinois casino by square footage.
For bettors, this includes slot games and gaming tables. The official number of slots and tables has yet to be announced.
For casual attendees, a Hard Rock Cafe can be found in the casino along with other bars and restaurants that have yet to be officially named.
A 1,600-seat entertainment and concert venue called Hard Rock Live will also occupy space in the casino.
There have also been discussions of hotel space, but nothing concrete has been confirmed regarding this. If it does open, it’s expected to happen after the casino opens in fall 2023.
Hard Rock Rockford will be located at 7801 State St off the I-90 exit ramp.
The business that previously occupied the plot of land was the Clock Tower Resort, which was once a booming source of income for Rockford. But the lot it sat on has remained desolate after the resort’s demolition in 2018 when business slowed.
Hard Rock’s commitment to Rockford
A major part of the permanent casino’s license, granted by the IGB, requires Hard Rock to give back to the city of Rockford.
Part of the return Rockford will see is $7 million annually from gaming revenue from Hard Rock. The casino’s construction will also create 1,000 temporary jobs and 1,200 permanent jobs within the casino once opened.
Hard Rock Casino Rockford vice president of finance Wendy Kasche said:
“Love all, serve all is our motto and community involvement, I believe, has been wonderful and outstanding. We have fantastic partners and have made great relationships here and we’re all looking forward to our permanent facility being opened.”
Hard Rock has already partnered with another staple in the Rockford community.
Early this year, Hard Rock and the Rockford IceHogs collaborated to provide a premier viewing experience at IceHogs home games in the BMO Harris Bank Center.
From the partnership came The Stage, a 56-seat VIP suite featuring private luxury seating, tabletop bars, and a private buffet.