Hard Rock Casino Rockford is boosting its offerings beyond slots and electronic games, offering live dealer table games for the first time.
Patrons to the casino can now play blackjack, Ultimate Texas Hold’em and three-card poker, after Illinois Gaming Board approval.
The Hard Rock Casino Rockford, at 610 N. Bell School Road, has been open for 17 months. It has a 37,000-square-foot gaming floor, with 600 slots and electronic table games.
Table game hours are 10 a.m. to midnight Sunday through Thursday, and 10 a.m. to 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday. The casino is open 24/7.
The action is also non-stop for operators running sportsbooks, especially online, in the Land of Lincoln.
As of January, Illinois sports betting handle has exceeded $1 billion each month for four consecutive months. February figures have not been reported but, if the nationwide trend continues, it's quite likely that the streak of a billion dollars per month being wagered will end at four.
This is typical for February, which has the Super Bowl as a massive single-day sports wagering event but no other NFL games.
The online market is very much the preferred option, with those running mobile Illinois sportsbook apps taking about 20 times more action than the retail, brick-and-mortar operations.
More About Illinois Casino Industry
Illinois also has a robust traditional casino industry, which includes a planned $1.7 billion casino-resort inside Chicago’s city limits. Bally’s Corporation will operate that facility.
In February, casinos in the state reported over $115 million in total adjusted gross receipts from gaming, according to the Illinois Gaming Board.
According to the board, Rockford Casino generated over $5 million in revenue for February, over $300,000 in local tax share, over $600,000 in state share, and a little under 45,000 in admissions that month.
Grand Victoria Casino had the biggest revenue number out of the state’s 12 casinos for the February Illinois casino revenue report – more than $12 million in total adjusted gross receipts.
Rockford Catching Up to Competition
Up until now, Rockford Casino was the only one in the state not offering table games, so this news obviously will lift those revenue numbers. Argosy Casino Alton, at 23,000 square feet, did over $296,000 in table games revenue, Harrah’s Metropolis Casino, at 23,500 square feet, did just over $844,000, and Par-A-Dice Hotel Casino, at over 26,000 square feet, did just over $900,000, in February.
Harrah’s Joliet Casino & Hotel, at 39,000 square feet, generated just over $1 million in table games revenue, with DraftKings at Casino Queen, at 40,000 square feet, at over $1.6 million.
And this is a temporary casino – construction of the permanent Hard Rock casino, near Interstate 90 and East State Street, where Clock Tower Resort used to be, is ongoing.
Illinois Online Casino Efforts Ongoing
What the Land of Lincoln does not have is Illinois online casinos, also known as iGaming.
Six states have iGaming, with games like roulette, baccarat and online slot machines. Those states are Pennsylvania, New Jersey, West Virginia, Michigan, Connecticut and Delaware. Those states have made online poker legal, as has Nevada, but not all of them actually offer an online poker product yet.
There is a proposal to legalize online casinos in Illinois. In fact, two identical bills – one in the state House and one in the state Senate – were introduced this spring.
House Bill 2239 and Senate Bill 1656 would create the Internet Gaming Act in the state, with each individual license holder allowed up to three individually branded skins.
The bills were assigned to committees in each chamber of the Illinois General Assembly in March but neither has moved since then.
The 2023 legislative session adjourns May 19. Keep up with IllinoisBet.com for all the latest developments, and turn to us for the best Illinois sportsbook promos as well.