Rockford Casino Debuts Craps As Permanent Facility Buildout Enters Final Phase

Written By Phil West on December 21, 2023
Rendering of the permanent Hard Rock Casino Rockford on a story about the facility reaching its final stage of construction.

Rockford Casino: A Hard Rock Opening Act is not waiting to ring in the new year. The temporary casino in Rockford is adding craps to its table game offerings.

The popular dice game will launch on Dec. 22, as construction on Hard Rock Casino Rockford hits its final stretch.

The permanent casino is expected to open in August.

Craps becomes 7th table game at Hard Rock

There are more than a dozen Illinois casinos. Hard Rock Casino Rockford President Geno Iafrate told the Rockford Register Star that it’s taken several months to launch craps at the casino.

“Since opening live table games in April, guests have eagerly awaited the introduction of craps. We worked closely with the IGB (Illinois Gaming Board), executed countless hours of training and are finally ready to bring this exciting, high-energy game to Rockford.”

The craps table joins six other table games at the Rockford casino.

  • Blackjack
  • Roulette
  • Ultimate Texas Hold ’em
  • Three Card Poker
  • Mississippi stud
  • Mini-Baccarat

Casino hiring workers at permanent facility now

The Hard Rock Casino Rockford is currently under construction at the former Clock Tower Resort location at East State Street and I-90, a little more than an hour’s drive from both Chicago and Milwaukee.

According to its website, the new permanent home for the casino “will feature 64,000 square feet of gaming space, a variety of dining options, and a Hard Rock Live entertainment venue.” A Rock River Current article says the casino will employ around 750, with 400 new employees set to join the 350 who are already working at Opening Act.

The casino is already seeking job candidates via networking events like the one this week at Illinois Bank & Trust Pavilion at Aldeen Golf Course, Iafrate said.

“It’s a heavy lift. It’s never too early to start reaching out to the community and the community organizations that we think will be invaluable in helping us fill those positions with the right folks. These types of community connection events give us that opportunity to start those conversations early so that hopefully as we roll into the summer, we have more people than the 400, and we’re not scrambling to try to fill positions at the last minute.

“The thing about the Hard Rock is it’s not just about filling the position; it’s about putting rock stars in the position.”

Gaming Leisure Properties Inc. bought the land the new casino is being built on for $100 million. It purchased the land from an affiliate of 815 Entertainment, which will also own and operate the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino and currently operates Opening Act. also recently reported that “Hard Rock Casino Rockford presented the Veterans Drop-In Center with a $1,000 donation on Wednesday,” with the money going toward “local veterans who find themselves in need of a meal, financial assistance or fellowship.”

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Phil West

Phil West is a longtime journalist based in Austin, Texas, whose bylines have appeared in The Daily Dot, Nautilus, Pro Soccer USA, Howler, Los Angeles Times, Seattle Times, Philadelphia Inquirer, San Antonio Express-News, Austin American-Statesman, and Austin Chronicle. He has also written two books about soccer.

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