Hard Rock International is going to open its temporary casino in Rockford in October.
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.