early two years after it was first submitted to the Illinois Gaming Board, the Danville Casino application is still being processed by the IGB. Despite the delay, a restructuring of the approval process now has organizers hopeful about a possible approval to happen soon.
“For Danville, hopefully, our application will be reviewed more quickly and have an opportunity for our casino to be built faster,” said Danville Mayor Rickey Williams Jr., reports Fox Illinois. According to the Mayor, the COVID-19 pandemic is responsible for slowing down the application approval process for the IGB.
Earlier this month, the gaming board announced that the approval process will now go through the administrators rather than the IGB itself, something that Williams belies could mean receiving approval sooner.
The city will no longer have to wait on IGB meetings for advancements on casino license and operations, as now IGB Administrator Marcus Fruchter will be able to further streamline the process. The board “does not wish to delay” authorizations due to the inability of the IGB “to timely meet and consider such matters.”
The project is expected to bring in $5-6 million a year, which implies a 10% boost of revenue for the city. However, the delay seems to have resulted in a bittersweet experience for Danville.
"It has been of the most frustrating things I have participated in my life,” said Mayor Williams. “We have done so much work. They only gave us a short amount of time to select a partner and make an application and now we have been waiting. In October, it will be two years.”
The Chamber of Commerce says that, if approved, the casino project could mean huge news for both new and already existing businesses in the area.
“A lot of casinos have seen waterparks been brought with them, some more restaurants and I even think some more hotels,” said Vermilion Advantage CEO Tim Dudley.
Moreover, the project could also bring more jobs to the city, something especially important taking into account latest census data has shown a decline in population. Once approved, the casino could take between nine months and a year to be open, according to the mayor.
“Bottom line is we need to make sure we are a place where people want to stay but a place people want to come which is why we have put a ton of work into infrastructure,” remarked Williams.
In the latest update, the Illinois Gaming Board said the investigation work is going forward to finish the licensing process. Rochester, N.Y.-based Wilmorite Construction, which has secured Golden Nugget branding for the casino, is the proposed Danville casino developer.
Phase 1 development is proposed at 204 Eastgate Drive to include 500 slots, 10 tables, a steakhouse and a food court, reports Commercial-News.