Community Unites to Bring Illinois Gambling Expansion to Rockford

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Launches Campaign Calling on Governor Quinn to Sign SB 0744

Rockford Casino Coalition

We see a Rockford casino as one element, a tool in our economic toolkit, that we can use to create jobs and grow our region’s economy,” said John Groh, president and CEO of the Rockford Area Convention and Visitors Bureau.

While Governor Pat Quinn deliberates on signing Illinois Senate Bill 0744 for gaming expansion, one city identified for a new casino site has formed a community-wide coalition to demonstrate its support for the bill signing. Elected officials and labor, tourism and business leaders from Rockford, Ill. created the Rockford Casino Coalition with the goal of securing a casino that would bring needed job growth and economic development to the State’s leader in unemployment.

Since launching its community-wide campaign on June 23, the Rockford Casino Coalition has built partnerships with organizations representing more than 75,000 individuals from its region.

The campaign’s goal is to demonstrate the community’s collective support and need for this legislation. “Our coalition aims to speak with a clear, consistent voice. The Rockford region knows far too well the economic realities left behind in the wake of recent recessions. We see a Rockford casino as one element, a tool in our economic toolkit, that we can us to create jobs and grow our region’s economy,” said John Groh, president & CEO of the Rockford Area Convention & Visitors Bureau, and a member of the coalition.

Other partners of the coalition include the Rockford Area Economic Development Council, the Rockford Chamber of Commerce and several labor unions and contractor associations.

During the advocacy campaign, the Rockford Casino Coalition is urging area businesses, organizations and individuals to join the coalition by signing the online petition stating support of SB 0744. The coalition launched a Facebook page and website,, to reach supporters and educate the Rockford community on the benefits of bringing a casino.

Should Gov. Quinn sign the bill, the potential for revenue generation and economic development opportunities in Illinois and the Rockford area is significant. Gaming expansion in Illinois would generate an estimated $1.5 billion in up-front fees and $500 million in recurring annual funds for the state. This additional revenue would allow the state to meet its General Fund obligations.

Rockford has been one of the hardest hit cities in this struggling economy; it leads the state with the highest levels of unemployment and lags other cities in job creation. The new construction and operational positions within the actual casino and throughout the local hospitality and tourism industries would significantly boost job creation in Rockford.

The Rockford Casino Coalition was formed in support for the gaming expansion bill (SB 0744) and encourages Governor Pat Quinn to sign the bill. The Coalition’s founding partners represent more than 1,500 organizations and their 60,000 employees. For more information, visit the Coalition’s Facebook page, Rockford Casino Coalition or


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Kylie Crull

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