The Illinois Gaming Board gave the green light to the construction plans of the Hawthorne Race Course casinos, with the sporting venue allowed to become the next gaming property of the state.
Founded in 1891 and celebrated as “the longest running legal gambling business in the state” and “Illinois’ oldest sporting venue” the change comes thirty years after the area passed legislation allowing ten casinos to operate across jurisdiction.
In becoming a fully operating casino with slot machines, table games and sports betting, Hawthorne has promised it will be $400 renovation that will “transform Illinois horseracing and create the most dynamic entertainment experience for casino customers in the Chicagoland area.”
Tim Carey, president and CEO of Hawthorne Race Course said: “It’s really hard to put into context what this means for the very hardworking people of the Illinois racing industry.
“It means horsemen will be able to keep their businesses and families in Illinois. It means showcasing this historic sport to a new generation of fans. It means creating a truly unique, first-of-its-kind entertainment experience that won’t exist anywhere else in Illinois.”
Hawthorne ‘s casino plans include, in addition to its aforementioned slot machines and table games inclusions, a sportsbook to be built in conjunction with PointsBet, dining amenities featuring well-known Chicago culinary experiences, a multi-level parking garage, and a new racing facility with updated wagering facilities. Major expansion and renovation is scheduled to commence in September with plans to open the casino by the end of 2021.
Kevin Kline, Hawthorne’s CEO of Gaming explained: “I think a lot of people may have expected us to simply put some slot machines and tables into our existing facility, but we’re going to substantially raise the bar on the Chicagoland casino experience.
“As an independent operator, Hawthorne is like a 130 year old start-up business, and we are going to lead with innovation, excitement and a culture that celebrates our customers and empowers our team members every day.
“We’re going to break the mold on what a regional integrated casino, racing, and entertainment destination can be.”