Ho-Chunk Nation announces Beloit casino will break ground this fall

Ho-Chunk Nation announces Beloit casino will break ground this fall
Wild Casino

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - The City of Beloit prepares to roll the dice on a new Ho-Chunk Nation casino that is set to break ground this fall.

Located between Willowbrook and Colley roads, guests will enjoy more than 1,500 slot machines, dozens of table games and a sports betting area. An 18-story hotel will join the casino with more than 300 rooms, a multi-purpose convention center and multiple food and beverage outlets, including full-scale restaurants. Despite Rockford’s Hard Rock Casino being less than half an hour away, Ho-Chunk Nation consultant Collin Price says it will be easy for both casinos to co-exist.

“In terms of the gaming market we see our competitors elevating their game, which is how it should be,” Price says. " Everyone’s offering a unique product and that’s what we’re trying to do here. We can all offer something really special for the guest to pick and choose what they want.”

More than 1,500 jobs are expected to be created by the casino, with an additional 3,000 provided by the construction project alone. The employees will be made up of Ho-Chunk tribe members and local residents. City manager Jerry Gabrielatos believes the opportunities provided by the casino will make Beloit an attractive place to live.

“With this, it’s not just the casino it’s the hotel, it’s the convention center, it’s the restaurants that will be there,” Gabrielatos says. “This creates a sort of spectrum of opportunities all in one place, combined with everything we already have here.”

Visit Beloit CEO Celestino Ruffini believes Beloit will soon be able to compete with any other destination in Wisconsin and the Chicago land area. He says the project will change the landscape of local tourism for years to come, saying Rock County has never seen a structure quite like this.

“We really look forward to people coming to enjoy gaming and entertainment and meetings and conventions but while they’re here, taking advantage of all the other businesses and opportunities and events that take place in the Beloit area,” says Ruffini.

The building application is expected to move through the city starting Monday. Price says assuming all permits are approved, construction should be completed in 2026.

With the Hard Rock Casino Rockford officially opening its doors this fall, one casino leader says they welcome any friendly competition that comes their way.