There’s a new Illinois casino coming to Rock Island. On Mar. 13, Rock Island City Council approved the $34 million renovation to help Bally’s Quad Cities Casino & Hotel. With that money, Bally’s plans to upgrade 205 rooms and add a sports betting lounge.
According to the agreement, Bally’s will receive up to $4.7 million from the city’s Tax Increment Finance District (TIF). If everything goes as planned, the project will start on Dec. 1, 2023, and run through Dec. 1, 2027.
Rock Island to gain from Bally’s casino’s continued success
As the state generates tax money from sports betting, Rock Island would see a direct economic impact.
Community and Economic Development Director Miles Brainard said the agreement would help Bally’s upgrade the hotel. It will be the first time since the casino opened its doors in 2008.
Once Bally’s sportsbook opens its new gaming facility, it can stay competitive with Iowa sportsbooks, which already offer sports betting. As Brainard told WVIK:
“One of the things we see here in Illinois lately is a number of new casinos coming online in the market. Of course, we have one that’s going to be in Chicago but also Rockford, a little closer to us. So in order to be competitive it’s important for them to add on these things.”
The renovations will come at no cost to taxpayers. The city has nearly $12.5 million in eligible TIF redevelopment costs. But to be entitled to the $4.7 million inducement, Bally’s must demonstrate it invested $12.5M into the $34M project.
What will the new Illinois casino project include?
The project contains the renovation of all 205 hotel rooms with the addition of a sportsbook and lounge on the casino floor.
Bally’s also plans to convert the DJ’s Steakhouse into a new sportsbook and sports lounge area. The new gaming venue will feature several big-screen TVs and a room available for private parties.
More importantly, Bally’s anticipates adding 80 new jobs and increasing employee compensation.
No renovations since the Illinois casino opening in 2008
Previously, Rock Island had a development agreement with the former facility while it was still Jumer’s Casino. Bally’s purchased the property in 2021 and rebranded it. But the hotel rooms have not been updated since the casino opened in December 2008. Bally’s casino application was set to expire this year.
Jumer’s Casino Rock Island was the oldest of the three Quad Cities casinos. The other two local casinos are Caesars’ Isle Bettendorf and Rhythm City in Davenport.