The gambling population of Illinois is set to experience new sports betting options after a state-based casino introduced a retail addition to its offerings. It is barely a week since Rock Island City Council granted a license for the renovation of Bally’s Quad Cities Casino & Hotel. The proposed budget is $34 million and will help the casino in its plans to make the most of sports betting opportunities in Illinois. The people of Rock Island are obviously excited about the idea of having a spot for sports fans to place wagers on their favorite teams.
Part of the budget money will be used to update existing hotel rooms to meet international standards. In addition to that, a Bally’s sportsbook will be added to the floor of the casino to cater to brand fans right where they are. It is expected that the first phase of the project will kick off in December 2023 and end approximately four years from that time. Even though there are all these plans in the pipeline, one thing stands in the way; Bally’s is not yet licensed for sports betting in Illinois. Hopefully, the approval will have been obtained by the time the casino embarks on improvement works.
Hopes of more jobs and increased revenue after renovations
Both the state and local administration collect taxes from sports betting so increased business means more tax revenue. Rock Island will in a few years witness a direct economic upsurge according to industry analysts. Rock Island city officials are hopeful that more investors will be interested in the market once the first license is granted to Bally’s. According to the conditions of the agreement, Bally’s Quad Cities Casino & Hotel will receive an upward of $4.7 million from the city’s Tax Increment Finance District (TIF).
The upcoming upgrade is quite phenomenal because it marks the first time the casino will be given a facelift since the bill to legalize gambling was proposed in Senate. It appears that the management of the casino was saving for this project because there has not been any mention of the casino upgrade cost being transferred to the taxpayers. The city has close to $12.5 million in eligible TIF redevelopment costs. To be eligible for the $4.7 million inducement, Bally’s is required to invest $12.5 million into the $34 million project.
Speaking with a local television station on the planned renovation works, the Director of Rock Island City Community and Economic Development, Miles Brainard, said that the Bally’s sportsbook is a project that many people have an interest in. He is optimistic that the new facility will be a great booster for the sports betting market of Iowa. There are some existing sportsbooks in Iowa and having a few more will not only improve the industry but also create numerous employment opportunities for the people.
Brainard has taken notice of all the large number of new casinos that are penetrating the online gambling market in Illinois. It is only natural for people to identify with brands that run their operations close to where they are. There is definitely going to be a casino in Chicago but the one that people are interested in will be located in Rockford which is closer. In order for the casinos to be competitive regardless of their location, it is important to adopt products as they enter the market.
What the Bally’s Quad Cities Casino renovation entails
One of the major items that the renovations’ budget is going to take care of is the upgrade of the casino’s 20 hotel rooms. Each of these accommodation spaces will be treated to a facelift that will raise its standards to match what other modern establishments are offering. It has also been rumored that Bally’s plans to repurpose the space that had been previously been occupied by DJ’s Steakhouse and use it as a new sportsbook and sports lounge area. The gaming floor will be comprised of several big-screen TVs and a room suitable for private parties.
The public has not been left out in all these plans – in addition to creating an additional 80 new jobs, the casino is also deliberating on increasing compensation perks for their existing employees. This will be the largest casino in Illinois worth over $1.7 billion and the wage big is expected to be proportionately large. Luckily, sports betting is a huge tax revenue earner and the workers in the industry are in for great remuneration perks.
The people of Illinois will benefit just as much as the economy if not more; with a target of creating more than 3,000 jobs during the construction phase and 3,000 more thereafter, it is going to be a huge employer in the area. The management team is eager to see the permanent structure launching by 2026 but the players will have to make do with a temporary operation till then.
The approval stage for the temporary casino has already been bypassed and the next step is to line up the stakeholders who will materialize the idea. Two licenses have been issued by the Illinois Gaming Board; one for the owners of the building and the other for land it sits on. Luckily, an old building will be used and the planned renovations are not as demanding. Although the Bally’s team has not given an official date for the opening of the temporary casino, observers are certain that it will happen sometime in summer.
Bally’s is a household name when it comes to gambling and betting operations in the United States. With so many investors taking interest in the gambling industry, it is obvious that the market has received the trade positively. Bally’s has an able team that has been at the helm of operations for more than a decade. With their insight into the market potential and applied strategy for growing the industry, the Quad Cities casino is a candidate for exemplary performance.