Rivers Casino’s $87 million expansion at its Illinois location just outside Chicago hit a key milestone Monday with the placement of the final structural beam.
The 78,000-square-foot addition in Des Plaines will open in two phases, with the ground floor expected to open in early 2022. That area will have expanded gaming with slots and table games totaling nearly 700 gaming positions as well as a new restaurant. The second phase, set to open in the spring, will feature a 22-table poker room, a slot machine gaming area, and a 10,000-square-foot ballroom on the second floor for private events and live entertainment.
“We are investing in the property to provide our guests more dining amenities, more entertainment, more gaming options, and what will be the Midwest’s best poker room,” Corey Wise, senior vice president and general manager of Rivers Casino, said in a statement. “We thank our team members for helping Rivers earn the loyalty of guests over the past 10 years, as well as the hardworking men and women of our local building trades for keeping our expansion on schedule.”
The projected timetable keeps Rivers on track to be the first of the state’s 10 casinos to reach the maximum allotted 2,000 gaming positions. The increased allotment of gaming positions came about in June 2019 when Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker signed an expansion bill that also legalized sports wagering.
The Des Plaines location is the biggest revenue-generating casino in the state, with nearly $246.9 million in casino gaming revenue through the first seven months of the year. The $52.4 million in state taxes generated from that revenue accounts for nearly half the $109.1 million collected from all 10 venues.
BetRivers Sportsbook has also outpaced other brick-and-mortar operators in Illinois, accepting $60.4 million worth of bets this year and nearly $112.6 million overall since being the first to take wagers in March 2020. It has generated close to $5.2 million in retail sports wagering revenue this year, approximately 40% of the state’s overall total of $12.7 million.