Penn Entertainment has been busy in Illinois. On Nov. 29, Penn is hosting a ground-breaking ceremony for its new Aurora casino. The new property will eventually replace its existing Hollywood Casino Aurora, a riverboat property.
Construction is estimated to take about two years.
Penn estimates 700 construction jobs will be created by the project, plus 700 permanent jobs once the facility opens, doubling the company’s current Aurora head count.
New resort is near Chicago Premium Outlets off I-88
There are currently 15 Illinois casinos spread across the state. Online casinos are still illegal in the state, but optimism is high that lawmakers will change that in the next legislative session, which begins in January.
The permanent Hollywood Casino Aurora will be a significant upgrade for Penn. The $360 million project will be located near Chicago Premium Outlets, a shopping destination off Interstate 88 and Kirk Road. The resort’s new home will house approximately 1,200 gaming positions, more than 200 guest rooms and a sportsbook. Additional amenities include an “outdoor entertainment area,” a spa, bars, restaurants, and an events center with 1,700 parking spots.
Penn CEO and President Jay Snowden is excited to see the project moving forward.
“We are thrilled to soon begin construction on a new, state-of-the-art Hollywood Casino Aurora. Our tremendous and long-lasting partnership with the city of Aurora has provided an opportunity to relocate our property to an ideal location that will significantly improve our offerings and further our positive economic impact on the community.”
Members of the Illinois Gaming Board and Illinois General Assembly, the mayor of Aurora and other local stakeholders will attend the ground-breaking.
PENN on a growth path
Wednesday’s ground-breaking comes after Penn earned TIF district approval for the relocation. The company also plans to relocate its Joliet property. The Illinois Gaming Board green-lit both relocations in May.
It’s been quite a month for Penn. Its highly anticipated ESPN Bet went live this month, bringing a major sports media player into the sports betting space.