IL State Senator Not Happy With Gaming Board’s Slow Pace

Written By Joe Boozell on June 28, 2020

Over the past year, the Illinois gaming bill & rsquo’s implementation process hasn’t exactly gone without a hitch. As a result, this week’s remarks from Illinois state senator Dave Syverson to the Illinois Gaming Board ( IGB ) were harsh.

Nine months previously, Hard Rock submitted a game plan.

Syverson represents Rockford and he stated that despite submitting the city’s game proposal nine weeks prior, it still hasn’t received approval. The game could potentially be operated by Hard Rock International, with the IGB expecting to give its approval by October.

“Syverson told The Center Square that it’s been 12 months since the application was submitted in [October]. He expressed frustration over the lengthy review process, calling it ‘ridiculous’ that a group would take this long to review a simple application.”

Syverson is upset that the IGB doesn’t appear to be making all possible efforts to foster growth while the COVID-19 pandemic is ongoing. According to Syverson, the epidemic should, in fact, expedite their efforts.

Syverson stated, “We have inquired with IGB if it would be possible for them to start their own development at their own expense. Can they start the land work now, while the weather is good, in order to gain a head start? However, the game board responded, ‘No, you can’t even lift a shovel on that property, or we will cancel the contract.’ This is truly absurd.”

IGB & rsquo’s response

Marcus Fruchter, the IGB superintendent, blames the sluggish approach of lawmakers for the slow progress. He suggests that the issues could have been addressed by legislators who have been debating the game bill for nearly a decade.

Fruchter stated that any legislator who wished for a less strict or ethical new casino software procedure could have altered the law during the past decade to expedite the IGB review and approval process. Furthermore, since the bill was enacted in June last year, the IGB’s responsibilities have increased significantly.

Approximately a year ago, Governor JB Pritzker approved legislation permitting the establishment of six innovative casinos in Illinois. According to Syverson, Rockford, which already has a casino operator, should be among the first locations to be considered. The situation in Williamson County in the south is similar.

“Andrdquo, Syverson said, “They are both waiting anxiously. The other applications are more challenging. Why not start with the straightforward, clear individuals, complete those two, have them approved, and get them operational before proceeding to the other programs?”

The danger of holding off on constructing Hard Rock

Syverson’s concerns are twofold. Primarily, it is clear that the lengthier the approval process, the longer it takes to produce millions in state profits and create hundreds of new jobs.

“Syverson stated, ‘With the casinos and video gaming facilities shut down, you have 250 idle employees. The staff members currently working on the program are present and being compensated. Moreover, there are numerous team members with no tasks who could have assisted in accomplishing the program.'”

There is then the possibility that casinos from out of state could beat Illinois casinos to open in specific areas. For example, a proposal for a mega-cashroom has been put forward for Beloit, Wisconsin, which is approximately a 30-minute drive from Rockford. Syverson is concerned that Rockford may lose customers if it doesn’t act fast.

“Firstly, if Beloit opens up, we’re likely to attract people who want to visit and who might feel comfortable doing so. We might even manage to retain them after Rockford opens,” said Syverson. “We could have easily beaten them. However, it’s obvious that the game board doesn’t appear to care.”

In addition to criticizing politicians, Fruchter gave a vague response.

Fruchter states that there is no set timeline for the Board’s review and analysis procedure. The IGB does not make any speculations or remarks regarding potential future Board actions, invented operating scenarios, or timelines. The IGB solely confirms that it is in the process of evaluating and examining the new casino applicant submissions, without commenting on the status of ongoing applications.

We predict that the drama surrounding Illinois’ casinos won’t be vanishing anytime soon. We’ll continue to keep you updated with the latest developments.

Boozell, Joe Avatar
authored by

Boozell, Joe

Joe Boozell has been a college sports writer for since 2015. His articles have also been featured in Bleacher Report,, and As a youth, Boozell competed against Anthony Davis and Frank Kaminsky in the Chicago basketball scene, which you can guess didn’t go too well.

View all posts by Boozell, Joe