Many residents and representatives of Danville, Illinois, have been pushing for a casino over the past three decades, and it looks like their wait is finally over. On Oct. 1, the Danville City Council approved a casino proposal submitted by Haven Gaming LLC.
The city council voted 12-0, unanimously approving Haven Gaming’s casino proposal. The offer calls for the casino to be located close to the Interstate 74 Lynch Drive exit and would be built on 40 acres of land. The prime location would also serve Urbana and Champaign, Illinois, as well as Indiana and Wisconsin.
A bid for a location in Rockford was also approved last week and will be constructed and operated by Hard Rock International.
Formerly known as Ciela Gaming LLC of Nevada, Haven Gaming LLC consists of around seven individuals with decades of casino and gaming experience. The concept of the proposed Danville casino is designed to be something a player would likely see in Las Vegas, rather than Illinois.
Illinois local, Haven member and gaming attorney Scott Sypolt spoke on the casino to the Commercial-News of Danville in a report.
“This is going to be an experience,” Sypolt said of the Las Vegas-style shows, restaurants, spa, shopping and gaming being a destination. “We are going to create what you call a wow experience.”
Its projected that there will be three phases of development for the Danville casino and resort: Phase 1 includes the starter casino -- set to be complete in 2020 and would include 500 slot machines and 10 to 20 table games -- and one or two restaurants and a bar; Phase 2 would be the full casino and up to three restaurants; Phase 3 includes the hotel, spa, pool, and convention center.
The completed Danville casino and resort will boast 1,250 slots, 40 gaming tables, sports betting areas and bars, an entertainment venue that seats 2,500 people, a conference center, a buffet that seats 300 people, a boutique hotel, rooftop spa, and stylish restaurants. In addition, the resort will feature a pool and lazy river, along with a waterfall.
It is expected that the investment will take hundreds of millions of dollars. Phase 1 will cost approximately $118 million. Roughly 400 construction jobs will be created, and all three phases will create around 1,000 jobs.
Upfront, Haven Gaming will give Danville $1 million for municipal improvements, $1 million to the Danville Boys and Girls Club, and $1 million to develop the riverfront downtown.
Haven member and former state representative Lou Lang said the Danville casino will boost the local economy, according to a report in the News-Gazette of East Central Illinois reported.
“It will put many people to work," Lang said. "It will add hotels and restaurants, an entertainment center, a conference center; you have to go a long way from Danville to hold a decent-sized conference. Conference mean revenue. Conferences mean economic development.”
It is expected that Haven Gaming’s Danville casino and resort will take about three years to complete.