The Hard Rock Rockford temporary casino is on track to open in October, and it’s starting to hire employees in anticipation.
There will be a job fair held at the Nordlof Center, 118 N. Main St., at noon on Friday and Saturday, Aug. 13-14. There will be a presentation to candidates for two hours.
Many positions are available. Hard Rock is hiring for roles ranging from accounting to slot operations.
Job-seekers must RSVP in order to attend.
The temporary casino will likely remain open for about two years while the permanent facility is built. It will be at Giovanni’s, at East State Street and Bell School Road. The site is currently undergoing an $8 million renovation.
And while it looks like a foregone conclusion that the Illinois Gaming Board (IGB) will approve the permanent casino, it has not done so yet.
Here’s what we know about the Hard Rock Casino Rockford.
Hard Rock is one step away from full IGB approval
In February, the IGB deemed Hard Rock Casino Rockford “preliminarily suitable” for a license. However, this does not mean final approval.
Then, in June, the board approved the Hard Rock temporary casino. Hard Rock should receive the final thumbs-up within the next few months.
Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara issued the following statement when the IGB green-lit the temporary casino:
“Of the six casinos that were approved in the casino expansion bill in 2019, we are the first to begin construction! This is a huge accomplishment!”
Hard Rock Rockford will almost certainly be the next casino built in Illinois. Walker’s Bluff Casino in Williamson County is also preliminarily suitable, but months behind Hard Rock’s timeline.
The Hard Rock project will likely cost around $310 million. It will be at the intersection of State Street and I-90.
The permanent casino will feature 64,000 square feet of gaming space and a Hard Rock Live entertainment venue. Rockford is the fifth-most populous city in Illinois.
Hard Rock a dark horse for Chicago casino license?
While Rush Street is the favorite to take the Chicago casino license, Hard Rock may also submit a bid.
We’ve heard of various large gaming companies — MGM, Wynn and Caesars — bowing out of the process. But Hard Rock responded to the city’s Request For Information and has remained quiet ever since.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot recently extended the application deadline, which was previously on Aug. 23. The mayor did so to give prospective bidders more time to evaluate the project.
We know that Hard Rock has at least some level of interest. W don’t know is if there is enough interest to submit a proposal, but there is at least a chance we see Hard Rock give Rush Street some competition.