Court decision expected by end of 2024

Full House Resorts’ Waukegan casino construction delayed pending Illinois Supreme Court decision

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Full House Resorts faces delays in the construction of its American Place resort and casino in Waukegan as it awaits a pivotal decision from the Illinois Supreme Court regarding a lawsuit.

Last year, Full House Resorts moved closer to realizing its plans for the American Place casino in Waukegan. However, progress came to a halt following legal challenges, leaving the company awaiting the Illinois Supreme Court’s final ruling.

While the company secured a favorable recommendation from the Waukegan Planning and Zoning Commission to the City Council, legal hurdles emerged. A lawsuit filed by the Forest County Potawatomi Community against the City of Waukegan and the Illinois Gaming Board sought to block Full House Resorts from obtaining a license.

Although the case was initially dismissed in 2021, a subsequent ruling by the Illinois First District Appellate Court overturned the dismissal, compelling Full House Resorts to suspend its construction plans once again.

The company is currently entangled in a third-party lawsuit, preventing it from commencing construction until the legal dispute over the gaming license is resolved. Attorney Stewart Weiss anticipates a decision from the court by the end of 2024.

Full House Resorts envisions the American Place casino as a luxury resort destination aimed at attracting visitors from the Chicago area and stimulating economic growth in Lake County. The proposed property includes a 5-star hotel with 20 suites, a casino featuring 100 gaming tables and 1,640 slots, and a 1,500-seat entertainment venue.

Daniel Lee, President and CEO of American Place, remains optimistic about the project's future, expressing confidence in overcoming legal challenges and completing construction by 2027. Lee dismissed concerns over financing, asserting his team's capability to fund the project.

Local officials and business leaders anticipate the completion of the venue, emphasizing its potential to draw tourists and create employment opportunities. Maureen Riedy, President of Visit Lake County, praised the temporary property's impact on the community and expressed enthusiasm for the permanent establishment.

Despite the setbacks, Full House Resorts remains committed to realizing its vision for the American Place casino, pending a favorable resolution of the ongoing legal proceedings.

In the interim, the temporary casino at American Place has contributed about $3.9 million in revenue to the city of Waukegan since its opening in February of last year, closely aligning with initial projections.

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