Potawatomi wants to operate Waukegan casino

  • The Potawatomi Hotel & Casino in Milwaukee has applied to operate a new casino in Waukegan.

    The Potawatomi Hotel & Casino in Milwaukee has applied to operate a new casino in Waukegan. File photo

Daily Herald report
Updated 8/5/2019 7:43 PM

The Potawatomi Hotel & Casino has submitted an application to develop a Waukegan casino, the company announced Monday.

A sweeping gambling expansion the Democratic-controlled legislature approved earlier this year authorized new casinos in Waukegan, Chicago, Rockford, Danville, Williamson County and an as-yet-undetermined South suburb in Cook County. Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed the legislation in June.


The Potawatomi tribe were living and conducting commerce in the Waukegan area when the French and other European settlers arrived, according to a news release. The city was known as Little Fort before its name was changed to Waukegan, the Potawatomi word for "trading post," the company said.

The company already operates a casino complex in nearby Milwaukee.

"Our property attracts more than 6 million visitors annually, making it one of the largest entertainment destinations in the Midwest. With a history of expansion and continual reinvestment, we don't take our success for granted," CEO and General Manager Rodney Ferguson said in the news release. "We are excited about the opportunity to bring that same level of success to Waukegan."

The Waukegan City Council will chose finalists for the casino license. The Illinois Gaming Board has the final say.

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