Developer proposes new casino concept to city council

Local News

DANVILLE, Ill. (WCIA) — A casino proposal for the City of Danville is getting a second chance.

After Haven Gaming withdrew its plans last month, the new operator, ‘Danville Development LLC,” will be taking over the reins for the project.

It’s entirely owned by Wilmorite Management Group, a company based out of New York that has a new site in mind for the casino.

It would be located at 204 Eastgate Drive — a location they say would reduce their construction schedule and allow them to expand sooner “if the market demands it.”

It’s also notably smaller at 41,500 square-feet, compared to the 125,000 square-foot facility that was previously planned for. The revised proposed would have 500 slot machines and 10 tables in the first of three phases of construction.

There are also plans in Phase 1 for four restaurants, which include a food court and ‘Abe’s Steakhouse.’

A St. Louis-based company, KdG, would head the architectural design of the project. The structure would have lots of glass, lights, and high ceiling peaks “to catch the eye.”

There would be no on-site hotel in the first phase. So developers said that the existing hotels in the vicinity made the new site ‘advantageous’.

The first phase could run up a bill of $100 million in development costs. If the casino generates $80 million in gross gaming revenue (GGR) within two years, along with another $30 million in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA), the company will move onto the second phase.

That phase would mean another $20-$60 million in capital investments, which includes a larger gaming floor, a hotel, and space for meetings and entertainment.

Two years after that, Phase 3 would see another $40-$100 million in improvements — if they receive $100 million in GGR and $40 million in EBITDA within that timeframe.

The first phase would also allocate 15,000 square feet of shell space in the design. So if the company wants to expand, it won’t have to wait to build a new structure.

Developers said they would either acquire land around them to expand, or move to a new site.

“Expanding sooner means we would create more construction jobs, more operating jobs, and move revenue to the city and state.”

The city council approved the new proposal by a 12-0 vote. The Illinois Gaming Board is expected to meet again next month.

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