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Bally's Casino looks to increase jobs and tax revenue through $34 million renovation

The project includes the renovation of all 205 hotel rooms and the addition of a sportsbook and lounge on the casino floor.

ROCK ISLAND, Ill. — Soon, you'll be able to sports bet at Bally's Casino in Rock Island. 

The casino was approved Monday night by Rock Island City Council to undergo a $34 million renovation. All 205 hotel rooms will be updated, as well as the addition of a sportsbook and lounge on the casino floor. 

Since local and state taxes are generated from sports betting, Rock Island will see a direct economic impact, according to Rock Island City Community and Economic Development Director Miles Brainard.

"Bally's Casino, as well as Jumer's Casino, its predecessor, generates an incredibly large portion of the city's property tax and sales tax revenue," Brainard said. "Sports betting in the state of Illinois, as well as other parts of the country, is an increasingly major part of the betting industry."

It was tough for Bally's during the pandemic, because many of those who bet there took their money to the Iowa side of the river.

"Illinois and Iowa approached things very differently," Brainard said. "Things were a lot less restrictive on the Iowa side, meaning that those casinos were operating much more like normal for a much longer period of time."

Another reason why opening this sportsbook is so important for Bally's — it can stay competitive with its Iowa counterparts, who already have sportsbooks.

The renovations will come at no cost to taxpayers and are expected to be complete by the end of the year.

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