Isle of Capri Gets Final Illinois Casino License

The Illinois Gaming Board Monday picked Isle of Capri Casinos Inc. to receive the state's 10th casino license.

Although the gaming board picked Isle of Capri, the sale of the license still needs to be approved by a bankruptcy court judge. It is not immediately clear when that might happen.

The 10th casino license is now held by the bankrupt Emerald Casino. State law mandates 15% of the casinos adjusted gross revenue go to the state's horse industry.

Isle of Capri, which bid $518 million, was one of three finalists vying for the license. The other companies were Harrah's Entertainment Inc., which bid $520 million to build in Waukegan, and Midwest Gaming and Entertainment LLC bid, which bid $476 million to build in Des Plaines.

Gaming Board chairman Elzie Higginbottom said Rosemont was picked because the northwest suburb is close to O'Hare Airport and the area already has an abundance of hotels and restaurants.

Tim Hinkley, Isle of Capri's president and chief operating officer, said he was happy with the board's decision.

"We have an awful lot of work to do and we're up to the task," he said about getting approval from the bankruptcy court.

The Gaming Board declined to say how long it thinks that final approval process might take.

Once the approval process is complete, Isle of Capri's bid calls for it to have its casino up and running within eight months or pay a fine of $500,000 a day up to $105 million.

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