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Illinois Gaming Board says Hard Rock Casino project can move forward

New details from the state gaming board.
Updated: Jun. 9, 2021 at 1:12 PM CDT
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - The Illinois Gaming Board said with owners of the proposed temporary Hard Rock Casino site and proposed permanent site licensed, the project can move forward with requesting approval to start construction on temporary and permanent facilities.

The proposed casino in Rockford has not requested permission to commence gaming operations at a temporary facility, and the IGB did not grant such approval at Wednesday’s board meeting. The IGB granted a casino supplier license to (815) Beltway Holdings, LLC – the owner of both the proposed temporary and permanent Hard Rock Rockford casino locations.

“This determination, among other things, allows construction on a temporary and/or permanent facility to proceed once the applicant submits the required requests, plans and disclosures and those submissions are reviewed and approved by the IGB under applicable provisions of the Illinois Gambling Act and IGB Rules, including Rules 230 and 540. The administrator discussed some of these requirements during today’s meeting,” Gene O’Shea, Director IGB Self-Exclusion Program said.

The IGB is working through the required vetting and investigation of the investors/owners of 815 Entertainment, LLC and of the proposed Rockford casino project. Some of these individuals and entities were on the June 9 agenda and the IGB expect others to be considered at future IGB meetings.

The board’s rules state that a Key Person is a person identified by the board under section 3000.222 as subject to regulatory approval as a person able to control, or exercise significant influence over, the management, assets, or operating policies of an owners, organization gaming or supplier licensee.

Among other things, Key Persons include the following:

· Any business entity and any individual with an ownership interest or voting rights of more than 5 percent in the licensee or applicant, and the trustee of any trust holding such ownership interest or voting rights.

· The directors of the licensee or applicant and its chief executive officer, president and chief operating officer, or their functional equivalents.

· A gaming operations manager or any other business entity or individual who has influence and/or control over the conduct of gaming or the Riverboat Gaming Operation.

· All other individuals or business entities that, upon review of the applicant’s or licensee’s Table of Organization, Ownership and Control submitted under Section 3000.223, the board determines hold a position or a level of ownership, control or influence that is material to the regulatory concerns and obligations of the board for the specified licensee or applicant.

Key person approvals are required by Board Rule 222, which describes the identification and requirements of key persons and can be found here.

The board approved three individuals and one trust suitable as Key Persons of 815 Entertainment, LLC d/b/a Hard Rock Casino Rockford as follows:

  1. Marc J. Jacobson
  2. Brent B. Johnson
  3. Sunil Puri
  4. Brent B. Johnson Trust dated March 24, 1997

The Board also approved the following 47 individuals, business entities and trusts suitable as owners of 815 Entertainment, LLC d/b/a Hard Rock Casino Rockford:

  1. Gretchen T. Bastuga
  2. Charles E. Box
  3. Sophia Bross
  4. Julia L. Costello
  5. William K. Cunningham
  6. Christopher R. Dandrow
  7. Mary A. Dunleavy
  8. Ronald W. Engesether
  9. Jason R. Frank
  10. Hugh M. Jones IV
  11. Rachel K. Kenyon
  12. William K. Knicker
  13. Justin K. Kwak
  14. Jason D. Lichtman
  15. John D. Lichty
  16. Matthew S. Murphy
  17. Karen R. Nielsen
  18. Jan H. Ohlander
  19. Lauren B. Rabb
  20. Andrew K. Roiniotis
  21. Jason A. Rolence
  22. Arthur S. Rone
  23. Debra A. Sasse
  24. Beth A. Satterfield
  25. Dawn M. Shanine
  26. George Donald Shanine
  27. George Noel Shanine
  28. Sydney E. Shanine
  29. Todd M. Shaw
  30. Suzanne Velasquez Sheehy
  31. Jessica Theisen
  32. Renee Togher
  33. Arthur R. Velasquez
  34. Laine N. Warner
  35. William W. Warner
  36. Brent D. Wilde
  37. James W. Wilde
  38. Joshua K. Wilde
  39. Jennifer V. Yilk
  40. Nannette Zander
  41. Clearwater Property Investments, LLC
  42. RCI Investments LLC
  43. VCI Partners, LLC
  44. Dawn M. Shanine Irrevocable Trust
  45. Gretchen Bastuga Revocable Trust
  46. The Bill Warner 2019 GST Exempt Trust
  47. The James W. Wilde Revocable Trust Agreement

State Senator Steve Stadelman (D-Rockford) released a statement Wednesday after news the Illinois Gaming Board has voted to approve a supplier’s license for the owners of the proposed Rockford Hard Rock Casino.

”I am excited for this major step forward in the plans for the Rockford Casino. I look forward to the day those in Rockford who enjoy gambling don’t have to travel to another state to do what they enjoy and can stay here in northern Illinois at the Rockford Casino.”

The Gaming Board’s vote Wednesday allows for a temporary casino to open, with the location set for the former Giovanni’s Restaurant & Convention Center at 610 N. Bell School Rd.

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