Construction on Walker’s Bluff Casino Resort in Williamson County is on schedule for a grand opening sometime in 2023.
Walker’s Bluff received a “preliminarily suitable” ruling from the Illinois Gaming Board (IGB) in June of 2021, which gave the green light for a new Illinois casino to open.
Then, in December, Gov. J.B. Pritzker and Sen. Dale Fowler made the trip to southern Illinois to attend a groundbreaking event to signify the beginning of construction on the casino.
It will take at least 14 months to finish construction. Walker’s Bluff hasn’t committed to an exact month for the casino resort to open in 2023.
Illinois casino construction crew has made considerable progress
As of last week, workers were nearing completion on the framing for the hotel. And they began paving the streets and parking lots. Construction of a water tower near the gaming facility is nearly complete.
Baxter Construction is overseeing the project. An aerial photo taken by Baxter shows the frame and foundation of the casino have both been laid.
Initially, the plan was to complete Walker’s Bluff’s construction in multiple phases. Dan Kehl, CEO of Elite Casino Resorts, announced that the project will all be completed continuously:
“The new proposed construction schedule allows us to open the casino, hotel, spa, and all of our signature Elite amenities sooner, giving new customers a great first impression of the new Walker’s Bluff Casino Resort.”
Elite Casino Resorts is a gaming operator with three active locations in Iowa. Along with Walker’s Bluff, Elite also has a casino resort opening soon in Nebraska.
What Walker’s Bluff has in store for patrons
Walker’s Bluff will be on a 38 acre site in Carterville, which is equidistant between Kentucky and Missouri. The casino resort itself will be 190,000-square-feet when combining the floor space of all the amenities it plans to offer. The project will cost some $147 million.
Here are the specific entertainment options available to bettors and casual patrons alike:
- 650 slot machines of various styles and denominations
- 14 table games
- Sportsbook featuring a VIP Suite
- Video poker
- 116-room hotel featuring suites
- Resort area offering massages, salons, manicures/pedicures, saunas, ice rooms and lounge rooms
- Retail outlet with products from local vendors and artisans
- Pool and tiki bar
- Two restaurants (a steakhouse and a sports brew pub)
- Casino Show Lounge which will feature local and regional entertainment each weekend
- Event Center that will house headliner entertainment, but can also be used for weddings, large in-person meetings or web meetings
Walker’s Bluff will produce tax revenue and attract tourism to Williamson County. It will also create some 1,100 employment opportunities for locals.