Hard Rock International Considering Las Vegas and Chicago Casinos
Hard Rock International has its eye on growth, set to consider adding a casino in Chicago and Las Vegas.
Major casino operators make big moves to stay at the top of their game. For some, its adding online services, like sports betting, poker, or casino games. For others, it is all about the physical presence. Whether it is creating a new venue or beefing up an existing facility, it is not uncommon for big names in the gambling world to make changes. One such company is Hard Rock International. The brand has been building up its company for quite some time with new facilities and online services. This week, we learned that Hard Rock is possibly interested in a license in Chicago and potentially a new Las Vegas venue.
During the recent Global Gaming Expo, Hard Rock chairman and Seminole Gaming CEO Jim Allen spoke with reporters, stating the company is reevaluating opportunities, including a casino in Chicago. In 2020, Hard Rock took part in a request for information in Chicago about potential licensing. Wynn Resorts and MGM Resorts International also took part in the RFP but they are now out of contention.
Apparently, Hard Rock is now being re-courted after being hesitant about the project. The company is evaluating the casino potential now and should make a decision by the end of October. Rush Street Gaming is also in the mix for the casino.
The city did not receive as many bids as it was expecting, most likely due to the strict guidelines that the license holder will have to follow. The city expects an investment of at least $1 billion plus tons of other concessions.
The deadline for the project has been extended to October 29, so we could see a proposal by Hard Rock submitted by the due date. The project must have a hotel with 500 guest rooms and be located in or near the downtown area.
Las Vegas in the Mix
Along with the potential Chicago project, Hard Rock is also eyeing Sin City. Allen stated that Las Vegas may also be a contender for a new property. The Hard Rock brand is owned by the Seminole Tribe of Florida, and it was acquired in 2007. At the time, the acquisition did not include the Hard Rock Casino in Las Vegas.
The casino was located off the Strip, and it closed down last year. The property now operates as the Mohegan Sun Casino at the Virgin Hotel. Because the Hard Rock officially closed, the brand now has the ability to operate a casino in Las Vegas.
Allen was asked about the possibility during the Global Gaming Expo and said that the company will be selective in how it moves forward with a venue in the city. Where the casino would be located in the city is anyone’s guess. Planet Hollywood was mentioned during the questioning, but it may have already been sold.
The CEO says that if the right opportunity emerges, then the company will move to the region. Hard Rock understands that Las Vegas is the capital of gaming in the US and a prime spot for revenue potential.
With a casino in the state, the company would also be able to apply for online gambling services, both poker and sports betting. Hard Rock does not offer too much when it comes to iGaming but moving into another market does provide that potential if the company choses.