If passed, a new expansion will make Rivers Casino Des Plaines the first gaming facility to reach Illinois’ maximum number of 2,000 gaming positions.
Churchill Downs Inc. (CDI) announced last week it had filed expansion plans with the city of Des Plaines and the Illinois Gaming Board that would add an estimated 725 gaming positions. The $87 million, 78,000 square-foot expansion includes a two-story addition that will feature a poker room, added gaming areas, ballroom events and a new restaurant.
Rivers Casino is owned jointly by Rush Street Gaming and CDI.
“With this proposed expansion, we will be able to offer our guests more of the entertainment and dining options they enjoy, additional gaming opportunities and a long-desired poker room,” CEO Greg Carlin, co-founder of Rush Street Gaming, said in a news release. “We have always offered a first-class experience for our guests. As the economy re-opens, we’re excited to raise the bar and provide them with an even better experience.”
The expansion will be built between the existing casino building and the recently modified parking garage on the north end of the property, the release said.
The first floor of the expansion will have a new restaurant and expanding gaming floor for slots and table games. The second floor will have a 24-table poker room and a 10,000-square-foot ballroom for private events and live entertainment. There will also be a slot machine gaming area on this level.
“Rivers is Illinois’ most popular casino destination, and with this expansion we are continuing to focus on our guests to earn their loyalty,” Corey Wise, senior vice president and general manager of Rivers Casino, said in the release. “We were the first casino to become land-based to expand our gaming floor. BetRivers was the state’s first sportsbook to open and we provided fans with the state’s first mobile sports betting option. When complete, we will be the first casino in Illinois to offer our guests 2,000 gaming positions.”
The expansion will first include the addition of 260 table game positions (70% increase) and 439 slot game positions (48% increase). With this plan, the property will also have 26 gaming positions added sometime in the future. Rivers will pay the state $24 million in gaming position licensing fees in June 2021, according to the release.
States are looking for ways to increase revenue after the coronavirus pandemic shut down casinos in Illinois and all over the country last year.
The Illinois Gaming Board must still approve the plan. The city of Des Plaines must also approve the expansion, while representatives for Rivers will start the formal zoning process in late February.
If approved, construction on the new expansion can begin this spring and is projected to be completed by spring 2022.
Bryce spent nine years covering high school and college sports throughout Michigan. He’s served as the primary Division II beat writer for Grand Valley State and Michigan Tech. Along with his newspaper background, he's worked in marketing and recently co-founded Upbeat — the Upper Peninsula of Michigan’s first subscription-based prep sports website. His favorite sports to gamble on are football, basketball, baseball and Formula 1.Read Full Bio