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Danville Casino Operator To Withdraw Application, Submit New One

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Haven Gaming had proposed building a Danville casino report similar in size and scope to the Hollywood Casino in Aurora.

DANVILLE – The operator for a proposed Danville casino says it is withdrawing the application, it submitted last October, and plans to submit a new one next month.

The request from Haven Gaming, LLC, to withdraw is on the agenda for Thursday’s meeting of the Illinois Gaming Board.

In a statement, the Rochester, NY-based company says it is drawing up a new casino application “that is more suitable for the project and more accurately meets the expectations of the Gaming Board”. A company spokesperson declined to give further details.

Haven Gaming says it is still committed to Danville. And Mayor Rickey Williams Junior says he’s looking forward to seeing the new application at a city council meeting on August 18th.

“This is a great opportunity for Danville to have a chance to review the new application by Haven Gaming LLC,” said Williams in a statement. “I agree with the strategy and look forward to having the best possible application before the Illinois Gaming Board.”

Williams says the main change he has seen in the new application involves new officers involved in owning and operating the casino. Despite the delay in getting a state license approved for the Danville casino, the mayor says he still hopes the project can open to customers by 2021.

“I think that this pause is somewhat of a blessing, because it just allows everyone to make sure that we’re fully on the same page as we move forward, both Haven Gaming and the city of Danville,” said Williams. “So, again, it’s just made sure that we are all together.”

Haven Gaming’s original casino proposal called for construction of a casino hotel and resort complex in southeast Danville.

Speaking last summer, Mayor Williams told Illinois Newsroom that the complex could provide 400-600 new jobs and more than $4 million in new tax revenue for the city.

Williams said he hoped the first phase of the casino complex could be open for business in 2021. But the COVID-19 pandemic has put a damper on casino activity in the state.

(Revised to add new comments from Mayor Williams – JM 7/28/20, 8:46 p.m.). 

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Jim Meadows

Jim Meadows

Jim Meadows has been covering local news for WILL Radio since 2000, with occasional periods as local host for Morning Edition and All Things Considered and a stint hosting WILL's old Focus talk show. He was previously a reporter at public radio station WCBU in Peoria.

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