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US – Full House Resorts selected to build American Place in Waukegan

By - 14 December 2021

Full House Resorts has won the race for a casino licence in Waukegan, Illinois with its American Place gaming and entertainment destination proposal being selected by the Illinois Gaming Board, subject to final licensing approvals.

American Place was originally one of five proposals submitted in response to a ‘request for proposals’ to develop and operate a new casino and entertainment destination. The decision is the culmination of a competitive selection process that was launched in 2019.

“We thank the Illinois Gaming Board for their confidence in Full House Resorts and for selecting our American Place proposal,” said Daniel R. Lee, President and Chief Executive Officer of Full House Resorts. “We will begin working immediately on American Place, first with the development and construction of a temporary casino in Waukegan, Illinois. Through our planned temporary facility – aptly named The Temporary by American Place – we will be able to quickly create jobs and generate tax revenues while the permanent American Place facility is being built. We expect to open our temporary facility in mid-2022.”

Continued Mr. Lee: “Our permanent American Place facility is designed to be a world-class destination for nearby Chicagoland residents and the entire region, and will include luxurious amenities such as an all-villa hotel with full butler service. We are excited to join the Waukegan community and welcome the opportunity to bring our American Place vision to life, with completion of our full experience expected in 2024.”

The company will build a $250m gaming and entertainment destination named American Place – would be developed on 32 acres of land that it currently has under contract. The site is highly visible from Interstate 70 and convenient to the I-70/SR 46 interchange. The site is approximately one hour west of Indianapolis and within 100 miles of Champaign-Urbana and Decatur, Illinois, as well as Lafayette, Indiana.

Full House’s design is unique in several respects. The hotel is elevated above an interior greenscape, in a shape resembling a “happy smile.” A majority of the guest rooms are on upper levels and enjoy extended views. Atop the hotel is a pool deck and restaurant, overlooking the Wabash Valley. Along the busy neighboring freeway, Full House plans to build a large greenhouse, offering a lush interior environment. Within the greenhouse, the project would have two restaurants that offer “outdoor” dining, even in winter, as well as venues for weddings and other group events. The world-class casino would be located between the hotel and the greenhouse and offer approximately 1,000 slot machines, 50 table games, and a state-of-the-art sportsbook. Atop the casino, the Company has planned for a solar energy farm, which would provide green, sustainable energy for a portion of the complex’s electrical needs.

“After several years of studying Terre Haute and nearby communities, we believe we have designed a unique destination that will make Indiana residents proud,” said Mr. Lee added. “American Place was designed to be a world-class entertainment facility, one that will bring new jobs and revenues to Terre Haute, Vigo County and the State of Indiana.

“We have been licensed in good standing in Indiana for many years, where we own and operate the Rising Star Casino Resort and Golf Course in Rising Sun, which opened in 1996,” Mr. Lee noted. “This project will allow us to leverage our experience and database in Indiana, with cross-marketing opportunities with Rising Star. It will also provide career advancement opportunities within Indiana for our Rising Sun team members, while allowing us to seed the new Terre Haute team with experienced Indiana gaming personnel.”

Alex J. Stolyar, Senior Vice President and Chief Development Officer, added:“Since we first started exploring gaming opportunities five years ago, we have seen how eager the citizens of Terre Haute and Vigo County have been to attract a world-class gaming destination.”

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