DANVILLE, Ill., (WCIA) — The long-awaited Golden Nugget Casino opened its doors in Danville.

The Illinois Gaming Board issued a temporary permit late Friday night to give the green light. Dozens of people lined up. Danville native Jon Gray was eager to get inside.

“I’ve been watching every day, reading up,” Gray said. “Seeing when they’re going to open.”

People traveled near and far for a chance to play their favorite betting games. Dale Ryan traveled more than 40 miles from Indiana with his wife. He said he likes to gamble and couldn’t pass up the opportunity to witness Danville’s first ever casino.

“We go a couple times a month, yes,” Ryan said. “It’s going to be a draw for Danville, period. It provides jobs for local people. It provides a great restaurant where people can eat. And hopefully, some people have a little winnings.”

Golden Nugget’s President James Wilmot knows what this moment means for Danville natives.

“People have been waiting for this for almost 30 years in this town,” Wilmot said. “My family company has been involved with this project for three and a half years. If there’s one particular feeling, it’s grateful.”

Wilmot believes the long-term effects of this casino don’t just benefit him; they create a chain to other local businesses.

“The magnitude of this moment is more than just the immediate tax, immediate spend for construction,” Wilmot said. “There’s a lot of suppliers that will be increasing their lines, bringing on more people. It’s a trickle effect for sure.”

Wilmot said adding hotels, dining and conference rooms are not out of the question. He said they’ll continue to add more features to the casino if they see the need is there.

Those who missed Saturday’s opening can check their social media page for holiday weekend hours.