In an exciting development within the casino industry, Penn Entertainment has been granted approval to relocate two of its casino properties in suburban Chicago – Hollywood Aurora and Hollywood Joliet. The approval was granted by the Illinois Gaming Board (IGB), paving the way for Penn Entertainment’s new vision for these facilities.
Looking to the Future
The construction of the new Hollywood Joliet and Hollywood Aurora casino projects is expected to commence by the end of 2023, following the necessary regulatory approvals and permits. With the IGB’s approval of the relocation plans, Penn Entertainment is set to embark on a new chapter in its operations, promising a fresh and revitalized gaming experience for patrons of these two casinos.
A Major Investment in Illinois Casino Market
The decision to relocate the two casinos comes with a significant financial commitment. Penn Entertainment is expected to invest around $545 million into the two Hollywood Casino properties. This investment is seen as a testament to Penn Entertainment’s confidence in the competitive Chicago market and its ability to turn a profit from these casinos, while also creating numerous job opportunities in the local communities.
Marcus Fruchter, the IGB administrator, commented on the approval saying, “The IGB’s approval of the relocation proposals for the Hollywood Aurora and Hollywood Joliet casinos is a significant step in the regulatory process to bring new gaming venues to these host communities.”
A New Chapter for Hollywood Joliet
Originally situated on a riverboat on the Des Plaines River, the Hollywood Casino in Joliet will be replaced with a $185 million land-based casino project in Rock Run Crossings, situated at the intersection of Interstates 80 and 55. The new facility is expected to house around 800 slot machines, 45 table games, and a Barstool Sportsbook, in addition to a range of dining and entertainment options.
Aurora: From River Island to Interstate
The relocation plan also extends to the Hollywood Aurora Casino, which was initially planned to be developed on a downtown island in the Fox River. The new plan envisions the casino near Interstate 88, in proximity to the Chicago Premium Outlets Mall and the Fermilab campus. The $360 million project will reportedly include nearly 900 slot machines, 50 table games, and a 200-room hotel, among other amenities.
Comparisons with Ameristar Casino
Penn Entertainment’s East Chicago development, Ameristar Casino, is currently the company’s largest in the Chicago area. It boasts 1,177 slot machines and 42 table games. However, the new Aurora facility is set to rival Ameristar in terms of its offerings, with a similar number of gaming options, as well as additional facilities such as a wellness center, conference and meeting space, and an event facility.
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