Editor’s Note: This story was updated with news about the Rivers poker room opening.
The brand new Rivers poker room is now open, according to the Des Plaines casino.
The poker room is part of Rivers’ $87 million expansion plans. Given that Rivers is the most popular casino in Illinois and located a short drive away from downtown Chicago, it figures to be quite a hit.
There are now four poker rooms in Illinois. The poker room is 5,600 square feet and has 22 poker tables.
CEO Greg Carlin, the co-founder of Rush Street Gaming, said previously:
“With this proposed expansion, we will be able to offer our guests more of the entertainment and dining options they enjoy, additional gaming opportunities and a long-desired poker room. We have always offered a first-class experience for our guests. As the economy reopens, we’re excited to raise the bar and provide them with an even better experience.”
In total, the casino expansion will span 78,000 square feet. The first floor of the expansion is already complete, and the second is still in progress.
These are the three casinos that currently have poker rooms in IL:
For those in the Chicagoland area, Rivers will easily be the most convenient poker destination.
What’s the latest with online poker?
Of course, even more convenient than a centrally-located poker hub would be the ability to play poker online.
There hasn’t been much news on the online poker or casino front lately, just as we expected this 2022 legislative session. Next year is when we might have some developments.
In the fall, State Rep. Michael Zalewski said he expects online poker to be legal “sooner rather than later” in Illinois.
He said on 670 The Score:
“Going into the 2023 legislative session, that’ll be coming out of stimulus money and we’ll be looking for ways to generate revenue. I expect online poker to be something seriously discussed soon. I think the prospects are good. I’ve been up in Michigan, I’ve been on the DraftKings app. It’s haunting how easy it is. But the technology is there and I expect it to be legal sooner rather than later.”
Rivers involved in Chicago casino derby
The Lightfoot administration recently cut two of the five Chicago casino proposals, leaving three left standing.
The Rivers Chicago McCormick and Bally’s McCormick Place proposals got the boot. That leaves the following trio:
- Rivers 78
- Bally’s Tribune Publishing Center
- Hard Rock One Central
There will be community meetings this week to discuss each of the three proposals. Here’s when and where they will take place:
- Hard Rock: April 5 at the Harold Washington Library
- Bally’s: April 6 at the Tribune Publishing Plant
- Rivers: April 7 at the Isadore and Sadie Dorin Forum
Lightfoot hopes to make a final decision by early summer.