815 Entertainment to buy Giovanni for temporary Hard Rock Casino site
ROCKFORD (WREX) – 815 Entertainment, the group behind the development of a Hard Rock Casino in Rockford, will purchase Giovanni’s Restaurant and Convention Center to renovate space for a temporary casino location, once approved .
Last week, the Illinois Gaming Board rejected an application for a casino provider license after Giovanni attempted to withdraw his application days earlier. According to Illinois gambling law, contestants cannot opt out without approval from the IGB.
Illinois Gaming Board Administrator Marcus Fruchter said staff are recommending that the vendor’s license be denied “on the basis of conduct and associations that would compromise the integrity of the game and discredit or tend to discredit the state and the Illinois games “. However, Administrator Fructher did not elaborate further at Wednesday’s meeting.
The denial triggered a clause in the rental and ownership agreements that allows 815 Entertainment to acquire Castrogiovannis’ ownership and stake in the company, Terence Dunleavy, company attorney, told WREX 13 media partners at Rockford Register Star. 13 WREX has contacted Dunleavy for comment, but we have not heard back. Details of the acquisition have not been released.
Dunleavy goes on to tell Register Star that this will not affect the timing of the casino process.
“We are aware that the current owners of the temporary casino site will sell the site to existing investors. We don’t expect this change in ownership to slow down the casino process, ”Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara said in a statement to 13 WREX.
In February, the Illinois Gaming Board unanimously approved a preliminary suitability study for Hard Rock Casino, a major step in the process.
If approved by the gaming council, the plan would be to open a temporary casino inside Giovanni with 736 locations, a snack bar, a casino bar and the Legacy restaurant, which is already there. Plans released by Hard Rock show that it would be open for 18-24 months while construction of the Hard Rock Casino is underway.
Owner Joe Castrogiovanni says he will work with Hard Rock on the project after deciding to remove himself and his wife from the casino licensing process.
“I have decided to withdraw myself and my wife from the IGB licensing process and work with the folks at Hard Rock to facilitate their completion of the project, knowing that they will deliver a wonderful product for future employees and customers. The City of Rockford deserves nothing but the best, and we will continue to proudly support this project and all that it will bring to our region. “ – Joe Castrogiovanni, owner / Giovanni’s