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Hard Rock Casino’s temporary location gets preliminary green light, can begin construction once plans are approved

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ROCKFORD (WREX) -- The Hard Rock Casino in Rockford takes another step toward becoming reality. Wednesday, the Illinois Gaming Board approved a Casino Supplier License to 815 Beltway Holdings, LLC, the owner of both the proposed temporary location and permanent location of the Hard Rock Casino.

The approval allows construction on both the proposed temporary and permanent facility once the plans are approved by the IGB. It does not allow the temporary location to start gaming operations at a temporary facility.

"The IGB did not grant such approval at today's Board meeting," said Gene O'Shea, Director of IGB Self-Exclusion Program.

815 Holdings, LLC plans to renovate the former Giovanni's location to create a temporary casino while it plans and builds the Hard Rock Casino on East State Street near Interstate 90.

The temporary location inside Giovanni's would house 736 slots, a snack bar, casino bar and Legacy Restaurant, which is already there. Plans released by Hard Rock show that it would be open for 18 to 24 months while construction on the Hard Rock Casino is underway.

Also approved Wednesday, were three people and one suitable trust as "key persons" by the board. Marc and Brent Johnson, Sunil Puri and the Brent B. Johnson Trust.

Plus 47 people, businesses and trusts were approved as owners of 815 Entertainment LLC d/b/a Hard Rock Casino Rockford. They are below and include former Rockford Mayor Charles Box, Karen Nielsen, wife of Cheap Trick Guitarist Rick Nielsen.

  1. Gretchen T. Bastuga
  2. Charles E. Box
  3. Sophia Bross
  4. Julia L. Costello
  5. William K. Cunningham
  6. Christopher R. Dandrow
  7. Mary A. Dunleavy
  8. Ronald W. Engesether
  9. Jason R. Frank
  10. Hugh M. Jones IV
  11. Rachel K. Kenyon
  12. William K. Knicker
  13. Justin K. Kwak
  14. Jason D. Lichtman
  15. John D. Lichty
  16. Matthew S. Murphy
  17. Karen R. Nielsen
  18. Jan H. Ohlander
  19. Lauren B. Rabb
  20. Andrew K. Roiniotis
  21. Jason A. Rolence
  22. Arthur S. Rone
  23. Debra A. Sasse
  24. Beth A. Satterfield
  25. Dawn M. Shanine
  26. George Donald Shanine
  27. George Noel Shanine
  28. Sydney E. Shanine
  29. Todd M. Shaw
  30. Suzanne Velasquez Sheehy
  31. Jessica Theisen
  32. Renee Togher
  33. Arthur R. Velasquez
  34. Laine N. Warner
  35. William W. Warner
  36. Brent D. Wilde
  37. James W. Wilde
  38. Joshua K. Wilde
  39. Jennifer V. Yilk
  40. Nannette Zander
  41. Clearwater Property Investments, LLC
  42. RCI Investments LLC
  43. VCI Partners, LLC
  44. Dawn M. Shanine Irrevocable Trust
  45. Gretchen Bastuga Revocable Trust
  46. The Bill Warner 2019 GST Exempt Trust
  47. The James W. Wilde Revocable Trust Agreement

Notably not on that list, Dan Fischer, owner of Illinois Cafe & Service Co., who is also an investor in 815 Entertainment, LLC. According to documents obtained by 13 WREX back in February, Fischer is under investigation for a business dealing made in 2018. Fischer, and other investors, could still be approved by the gaming board at future IGB meetings.

James Stratton

James Stratton is the Evening Anchor at 13 WREX and reports for 13 Investigates He joined the team in August, 2018 after working at KWQC TV-6 in Davenport Iowa. His work in Illinois and Iowa has been awarded in both states, along with Edward R. Murrow and Emmy Awards at 13 WREX.

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