The company would still need licensing and approval from the state, which Hard Rock hopes to have by the end of the year, 13 News reports. This would be in time for large sporting events like the NFL's Super Bowl.
The media outlet reported that the temporary casino is also planned to have a pit with about 6 new games since they are the most requested by customers. They will add to the location's 635 brand new slot machines and electronic betting games that have been in use since November 10.
The casino features over 37,000 square feet of gaming space offering Interblock Electronic Games, two restaurants, and a pop-up retail shop. The temporary casino will be open for up to two years while the permanent location is being built at the former Clock Tower site off E. State St., near the I-90 exit/entrance ramp.
In June of 2019, Governor JB Pritzker signed the gaming expansion bill into law, opening the door for six areas in Illinois to open casinos, including Rockford. In October of 2019, city leaders voted in favor of a plan from Hard Rock International to submit to the Illinois Gaming Board. The decision to approve or deny the project was supposed to be made by October of 2020, but was pushed back six months due to COVID-19.
In June of 2020, the casino's temporary location was greenlit by the IGB to begin construction inside the former Giovanni's Restaurant and Convention Center.