he Hard Rock temporary casino in Rockford will open in October 2021. The temporary casino can be open for up to two years while the permanent casino is built.
The location at Giovanni's Restaurant and Convention Center is currently undergoing an $8 million renovation, and will hold over 600 slot machines; the Midway Bar sports bar; and the Rock River Bar and Grill restaurant. The Gaming Board gave permission to begin construction on the temporary casino at Giovanni’s on E. State and Bell School last month.
As part of Rockford’s plan to bring a Hard Rock Casino to the city, Giovanni’s was meant to serve as a temporary casino while the permanent casino complex was under construction. A license for the full casino project is still under consideration by the Illinois Gaming Board.
The Rockford City Council voted in favor of the plan from Hard Rock International in October 2019, after considering proposals from the downtown Rock River West Casino Group and Forest City Casino.
Governor J.B. Pritzker signed a gaming expansion bill into law on June 28, 2019, allowing a casino to be built in six areas in Illinois, including Rockford.
Hard Rock International Chairman Jim Allen said the $310 million casino project would create 1,200 permanent jobs and another 1,000 during construction.
The company has committed to incorporate a music production studio at Washington Park Community Center, build an outdoor amphitheater at Levings Lake, provide enhanced performance opportunities and make possible improvements to the Sinnisssippi Music Shell. Hard Rock has also agreed to provide support for neighborhood youth programs, reports My Stateline.