American Place Casino In Waukegan Inching Closer To Opening

Written By Dave Briggs on November 9, 2022
Full House's third-quarter results report indicates its temporary American Place Casino between Chicago and Milwaukee is close to opening.

The newest Illinois casino appears to be on schedule to open in Waukegan in December. Though, an opening date has yet to be finalized.

In September, executives with The Temporary by American Place Casino — owned and operated by Full House —  announced supply chain issues and complications in the approval process had slowed construction and pushed the opening until December.

Previously, the IL casino, located in the Lake Michigan town, was expected to open in October

On Monday, while announcing its third quarter results, Full House reported that product and systems testing at the Waukegan temporary site is scheduled to start before the end of this month.

Specifically, Full House Resorts CEO Daniel R. Lee said worker are finishing up the decor and preparing for installation of slot machines this week.

“We expect to have our entire slot floor installed and ready for testing before the end of November,” Lee said.

Also, he added that the “complicated process” usually takes several weeks, which is why the company is uncertain about the opening date.

“As with all new casino openings, we have an extensive checklist to complete prior to welcoming our first customers. Therefore, while the company expects to open the casino within the next three months, the precise opening date is still uncertain,” Lee said.

Circa sportsbook to launch with American Place opening

Notably, the partnership with Full House at the Waukegan facility is the gateway for Circa to launch its Illinois sportsbook app. When it does, Circa will become the eighth sports betting operator in Illinois, joining:

Also, beyond the Circa Sportsbook, the temporary Waukegan casino will offer:

  • 1,000 slot machines
  • 50 table games
  • A variety of dining options: three sit-down restaurants, other food options and a large bar

Notably, the permanent American Place casino will open in Waukegan in 2025. It has a $400 million price tag.

It will feature:

  • 1,640 slots
  • 100 table games
  • A permanent sportsbook
  • 1,500-seat entertainment venue
  • 20 ‘villa-style’ rooms called The Mansion in the initial phase. A second phase will include a 150-room hotel

Also, Full House Resorts prides itself on providing a lavish experience for players and maintains casinos in Mississippi, Indiana, Nevada and Colorado.

The opening of the new casino is expected to create more than 400 jobs in the city located between Chicago and Milwaukee.

“It will be the only casino in Lake County, Illinois, which has a population of approximately 700,000 and ranks as one of the wealthiest counties in the U.S.,” Lee said.

Third quarter results for Full House

Looking at the numbers, for the three-month period ending on Sept. 30, Full House reported a net loss of $3.6 million. The loss was attributed to heightened development costs against a net income of $4.6 million in 2021. 

Specifically, revenue of $41.4 million in the third quarter produced a 12% decrease from $47.2 million earned at the same time last year.

Additionally, Full House is scheduled to open a casino in Colorado in mid-2023 called the Chamonix Casino Hotel.

“When complete, Chamonix will be one of the larger casino hotels in Colorado and the largest and most luxurious casino hotel in Cripple Creek, which is the primary casino destination for the Colorado Springs market,” Lee said. “Cripple Creek is approximately one hour from the roughly one million people who live in the Colorado Springs metropolitan area and two hours from the approximately four million people who reside in the Denver area.”

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Dave Briggs

Dave Briggs is a managing editor and writer for Catena Media. His expertise is covering the gambling industry in North America with an emphasis on the casino, sports betting, horse racing and poker sectors. He is currently reporting on the gaming industries in Illinois and Canada.

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