Full House Resorts Selected to Develop and Operate New Illinois Casino

  • The IGB has approved Full House Resorts for a new casino in Waukegan, Illinois
  • Full House will operate a temporary casino until the actual casino opens in 2024
  • The permanent casino will have a 75,000 square-foot gaming floor and sportsbook
  • Full House Resorts already owns five casino properties in four different states
Person with approved stamp
Full House Resorts has received the green light to develop and operate a new casino in Illinois. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Getting the green light

The Illinois Gaming Board (IGB) has selected Full House Resorts to develop and operate a new casino in the state. The casino company announced the news on Wednesday, although the arrangement is still subject to final licensing approvals.

Full House will develop its casino project, named American Place, in Waukegan, Illinois. The Illinois authorities received five proposals as part of the request for proposals process for the casino project. North Point Casino was the other company reportedly in the final running to get the license.

The final selection process suffered delays after a rejected bidder took legal action to try to stop the state gambling regulators from voting on the matter. However, a judge denied the legal request on Tuesday and the vote went ahead on Wednesday. The selection process began back in 2019.

Full House’s share price jumped 18%

Full House Resorts will initially construct a temporary casino with the permanent casino set to open in 2024. The total project will cost about $375m and will create over 1,800 permanent jobs. On the back of the news, Full House’s share price jumped 18%.

All systems go

As reported by the Nevada Independent, Full House CEO and president Daniel R. Lee thanked the IGB for choosing the proposal. He outlined how the company will now proceed with constructing a temporary casino in Waukegan, called ‘The Temporary by American Place.’ The company plans to open this casino in the middle of next year.

Las Vegas-based Full House Resorts has pledged to have the temporary facility up and running in seven months. The permanent casino’s 75,000 square-foot gaming floor will contain 1,500 slot machines, a sportsbook, and 60 table games.

The American Place casino resort will have a premium boutique hotel, as well as a state-of-the-art sportsbook, restaurants, and a live entertainment venue.

Commenting on the plans, Lee said: “Our permanent American Place facility is designed to be a world-class destination for nearby Chicagoland residents and the entire region, and will include luxurious amenities such as an all-villa hotel with full butler service.”

Expanding its reach in the US casino market

Full House Resorts is the owner, leaser, developer, and operator of numerous US gaming facilities. It already has five casino properties in four states – Mississippi, Colorado, Indiana, and Nevada. It is also in the process of constructing the Chamonix Casino Hotel in Cripple Creek, Colorado. Full House has also entered the race to acquire a second Indiana casino and a New Mexico racetrack casino development over the past couple of years.

Full House raised over $300m in new debt earlier in 2021

In order to finance the $180m cost to develop the Chamonix Casino Hotel in Colorado and help fund the new Waukegan project, Full House raised over $300m in new debt earlier in 2021. The operator is forecasting annual gaming revenue of about $165m from the new Illinois casino when it is fully operational.

While five casino companies are vying to develop a downtown Chicago casino resort, Full House CEO Lee said that such a project was a bit too big for the company. Illinois designated Waukegan as the site of one of six new casinos after the approval of a major gambling expansion bill in 2019.

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