The Temporary Casino’s First Few Weeks Deliver Positive Feedback

Written By Cole Rush on March 8, 2023
Less than two weeks after opening, The Temporary by American Place casino in Waukegan had already welcomed 40,000 guests.

The newest Illinois casinoThe Temporary by American Place — opened its doors on Feb. 17. Following a lead-up to opening mired by delays, the Full House Resorts-operated property welcomed players in Waukegan, IL and the surrounding area to place their bets. 

In a press release announcing FHR’s fourth-quarter earnings, president and CEO Daniel R. Lee said:

We are very pleased with the positive response received from guests thus far, with many commenting that The Temporary is one of the nicest casinos in the area, despite being in a temporary structure. In its first 12 days of operation, we welcomed more than 40,000 guests through its doors.”

Starting slowly, ramping up

The Temporary opened at reduced capacity. Lee outlined the property’s expansion plans. 

“On opening night… approximately 80% of our slot floor and 60% of our permitted table games were available, “said Lee. “Over the coming weeks, we expect to further augment the number of available games on our floor and increase the hours of operation for our table games, which currently operate from 2 p.m. to 2 a.m.”

The Temporary is open from 8 a.m. to 4 a.m. now, but Lee expects to be open 24 hours per day as the property’s team gets up to speed. 

More restaurants coming soon

Expansion plans also include more restaurants.

L’Américain is up and running. An Asian-Azteca fusion restaurant will follow within the coming weeks. North Shore Steaks and Seafood is expected to open in the second quarter. 

“Given the early response to The Temporary, we remain confident in our ability to generate attractive returns from both The Temporary and our future American Place destination,” said Lee. 

In addition to the three planned restaurants, patrons of The Temporary can enjoy signature cocktails at The Canoe Bar. Other vittles can be found in two modified Airstream trailers within the property, which serve various drinks and food items. 

The Temporary adds to growing Illinois casino industry

The Temporary is the 12th casino to open in the Land of Lincoln. Its closest direct competitors are Rivers Casino in Des Plaines and Grand Victoria in Elgin. 

Nestled between metropolitan hubs Chicago and Milwaukee, the casino is a short drive from O’Hare International Airport and easily accessible to gamblers in the state’s northern suburbs. 

The Temporary contains nearly 1,000 slot machines and 50 table games. 

Illinois allowed for the addition of new retail casinos in its sweeping gambling legislation of 2019, which also allowed for online Illinois sportsbooks. 

New Illinois sportsbook on the way

The Temporary has partnered with Circa Sportsbook for sports betting. According to Circa CEO Derek Stevens, Circa was ready to launch as soon as The Temporary opened in Waukegan. 

But, that’s not how the process works. Circa first has to jump over all the regulatory hurdles required to launch a new sportsbook in Illinois. The company plans to launch a retail sportsbook within The Temporary, plus a new online sportsbook for Illinois bettors. Additionally, Circa will construct a full sportsbook in the permanent American Place casino when it opens.

When it launches its mobile platform, Circa will become the eighth online sportsbook in Illinois. 

Photo by Shutterstock
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Cole Rush

Cole Rush writes words. A lot of them. Most of those words can be found in gambling publications such as Play Illinois, iGaming Business, Gaming Today,,, ICE 365, and IGB North America. Cole also covers pop culture and books for and Cole has more than eight years of experience writing about gambling and entertainment.

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