Illinois Gaming Board Approves Full House’s Proposal for a Waukegan Casino

Full House Resorts Inc. announced yesterday that the Illinois Gaming Board selected its proposal on the next destination of its American Place gaming and entertainment property and that it is subject to final licensing approvals. With it, Full House Resorts will be able to develop its American Place project in Waukegan, Illinois and this represents closure on a competitive selection process that began in 2019.

A Temporary Facility is Set to Open in Mid-2022

The president of Full House Resorts, Daniel R. Lee, thanked the IGB for placing its trust in the company and for selecting its American Place proposal. He stated that construction will begin immediately and before the final project is completed, a temporary casino will open in Waukegan. The facility will be called The Temporary by American Place and thanks to it, jobs will be opened and tax revenue will be generated for the state.

Lee went on to say the permanent facility will be a world-class destination for nearby residents of Chicago and will include top amenities such as full butler service and an all-villa hotel. He concluded by saying that the final project is set to be finalized in 2024.

American Place expects to have around 2.5 million patrons and in doing so, generate $255.5 million in gross revenue in its first operating year. That equals around $22.2 million in taxes, fees, as well as lease payments to Waukegan. Additionally, it will pay $2.1 million to North Chicago, the Lake County government will receive $3.2 million and Park City will receive $1.4 million according to a law-written formula on revenue-sharing.

Moreover, Full House expects to hire 700 part-time employees and 1,150 full-time employees, as it is stated in its application.

Waukegan Mayor Is Pleased with the Decision

The Mayor of Waukegan, Ann Taylor, stated that the city believes that the decision by the IGB is the right one and that she’s looking forward to having conversations with Full House to make sure that the relationship between the two parties is transparent and responsible.

Taylor added that the main goal here is to have the casino as an economic engine for Waukegan and she feels confident that Full House shares these aspirations. As Lee stated, the full development of the project is set to be finished in 2024. Until then, the casino industry is likely to progress and generate a lot of revenue, especially from VGT gaming. As court filings state, Full House has proposed to buy the property for $30 million at any time while it is leasing it.

Waukegan was marked as a casino destination with the gambling expansion in June 2019. The interesting part about this story is that Terry Link, then-county Democratic Party chair and a former state senator, was the main supporter of it, but he was convicted and pleaded guilty to tax fraud in September last year. He’s currently cooperating with authorities and is awaiting sentencing.

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