Penn Entertainment Moving Aging Illinois Riverboat Casinos

Written By Nicholaus Garcia on October 11, 2022
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Penn Entertainment announced new developments on Monday, including the relocation of its Illinois riverboat casinos and expansions in Ohio and Nevada.

Construction on the new casinos in Illinois will begin in late 2023, subject to regulatory approval.

Penn Entertainment’s Illinois riverboat casino plans

Penn said it plans to move its Illinois riverboat casinos in Aurora and Joliet on land.

“Since the change in the law to permit land-side casino relocation in Illinois, we have been exploring the viability of relocating our aging riverboats,” said Jay Snowden, CEO and President of Penn Entertainment.

“Thanks to the support of our local community leaders, in particular the visionary leadership of Mayor Richard Irvin and his staff in Aurora, we are very excited to be moving forward with these projects.”

The company said its Hollywood Casino Aurora would relocate near the Chicago Premium Outlets of Interstate 88. The $360 million plan will feature 900 slot machines and 50 table games.

Additional amenities include:

  • A baccarat room
  • A poker room
  • Barstool Sportsbook
  • 200 hotel rooms
  • Several bars and restaurants

“Our plan for Aurora is to construct a modern, best-in-class casino and hotel in an ideal location,” Snowden said.

“The Aurora development will include the transfer of certain parcels of land from the city, and up to $50 million of the project will be funded by the city through a new bond issuance, all of which is subject to final approval by the Aurora City Council.”

According to Snowden, Hollywood Casino Joliet will be part of the Rock Run Crossing development near Interstate 80.

“These two projects will significantly improve our offerings in the highly attractive Chicagoland market while creating hundreds of new full-time jobs for the local communities.”

Similar to its sister property in Aurora, the casino in Joliet will feature some of the same gambling amenities.

  • 800 slot machines
  • 45 table games
  • A Barstool Sportsbook

Additionally, the Joliet property will include a meeting space and event center and is subject to the same regulatory approval.

Expansion in Ohio and Nevada

Penn also announced the construction of a new hotel at its Hollywood Casino in Columbus, Ohio. The company also plans to add a second hotel at its M Resort in Henderson, Nevada. Both plans are subject to municipal approvals.

“Since opening in 2012, our Columbus property has experienced tremendous growth, and the addition of a hotel at the property will create a true regional destination.

At the M Resort, the addition of a second tower will benefit from the strong demand in the Henderson locals market while providing additional capacity for the group business that is drawn to our market-leading resort and amenities, including our highly successful partnership with the Las Vegas Raiders.”

Photo by AP Photo/M. Spencer Green
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Nicholaus Garcia

Nick Garcia is a senior reporter for PlayUSA. Garcia provides analysis and in-depth coverage of the gambling industry with a key focus on online casinos, sports betting and financial markets. Garcia has been covering the US gambling market since 2017. He attended Texas Tech University as an undergrad and received a Master of Arts in Journalism from Columbia College Chicago.

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