Illinois: Full House granted sports wagering license for temporary casino in Waukegan

Full House Resorts, the operator of the temporary casino in Waukegan, has been granted a casino owner’s license and a master sports wagering license by the Illinois Gaming Board.

The temporary casino, known as The Temporary by American Place, opened to the public in February and has been operating under a temporary operating permit until now. With the new licenses, Full House Resorts can offer sports betting and operate 24 hours a day. It currently only operates on weekends.

“We were operating under a temporary operating permit and that’s good for up to a year,” said Alex Stolyer, Senior Vice President and Chief Development Officer of Full House Resorts, as reported by Patch. “Now that we have our owner’s license, then we can get approved to offer sports betting, so we got approved for the master sports betting license.”

The Temporary has been experiencing positive growth since its opening, company officials said. Asia-Azteca, a restaurant serving Mexican and Asian fusion cuisine, opened in April, and a steakhouse is set to open this summer. The feedback from customers has been very positive, according to Stolyer.

Circa Sports, the sportsbook operator that has teamed up with Full House for Illinois, is planning to open its retail shop at The Temporary in August, just in time for the NFL regular season. Full House Resorts expects to generate a minimum of $10 million annually from sports wagering agreements.

Daniel Lee, President and CEO of Full House Resorts, expressed his satisfaction with the financial performance of The Temporary. In the first quarter of the year, the temporary casino generated $10.4 million in revenue and $3.6 million in EBITDA, with an earnings margin of over 34%. The casino’s marketing database currently consists of approximately 25,000 people and continues to grow steadily.

Along with the licenses, the Illinois Gaming Board has also granted Full House Resorts an extension to operate The Temporary until February 17, 2026, during the construction of its permanent American Place casino, which is estimated to cost $400 million. The permanent casino is currently in the advanced design phase and awaits final planning and development approval from local officials.

Daniel Lee, President and CEO of Full House Resorts

In addition to planning its retail sports betting launch by the start of the NFL season, eyeing late August or early September for the debut, Circa Sports is also working on its online gaming platform.

The sportsbook at The Temporary will feature 18 television screens and allow patrons to sign up for the online app remotely or in-person. Jeff Benson, Circa’s director of operations, said that there will be physical ticket writers, kiosks, odds boards, and seating. Food and beverage service will be available nearby, but not on the book.

Stolyar told Chicago Tribune that Circa must now get its platform running and tested so gaming board officials can approve it. It does not require a board vote, and it will go through a lot of testing.