Rockford Chamber & RAEDC Commend City, Hard Rock for Well-structured Efforts to Bring a Casino to Rockford

For more than 15 years, the Rockford Chamber of Commerce and Rockford Area Economic Development Council leadership have consistently advocated for a casino in Rockford. The benefits to the community, visitors, and local government are significant toward advancing our region.

Monday night, the Rockford City Council voted 11-1 to certify the Hard Rock Rockford casino proposal and send it to the Illinois Gaming Board (IGB). The Hard Rock developers plan to put a casino complex on the land formerly occupied by the Clock Tower Resort. They are ready to roll and have designated Giovanni’s Restaurant & Convention Center as a temporary casino location while the final casino is being built.

From the time the legislation was passed, the City of Rockford had just 120 days to get to this point, and they are first in the state to do so after the governor signed a law expanding the number of casino licenses from 10 to 16, designating one for Rockford.

The City staff and their consultants are to be commended for outlining and following an extraordinarily deliberate and complicated process that yielded a well-qualified proposal. Hard Rock and their principals deserve to be acknowledged for the high level of detail and well-planned structure they provided in their proposal response.

It’s a winning combination and the start of a very good partnership.

In addition to the estimated creation of 1,000 jobs, the City will also receive additional State payments from gaming taxes and casino admission fees. The Hard Rock developers guarantee those payments to be at least $7 million each calendar year.

There is still work to be done as the City and Hard Rock join together to send the agreement to the Illinois Gaming Board for a final decision which could take several months.

We are confident the end result will be worth the wait. Congratulations to all involved!


Einar Forsman
Rockford Chamber of Commerce

Nathan Bryant
Rockford Area Economic Development Council