Temporary Casino North Of Chicago Is Open For Business

Written By J.R. Duren on February 21, 2023
12th Illinois Casino The Temporary Is Now Open

The Temporary by American Place, a temporary Illinois casino built by Full House Resorts, is open for business just a few minutes north of Chicago.

The Waukegan property is Illinois’s 12th casino, and it’s the only casino in Lake County. Full House President and CEO Daniel R. Lee said in a statement he was grateful for the work regulators and casino staff put into making The Temporary a reality.

“We thank the Illinois Gaming Board and its staff for their assistance throughout The Temporary’s construction and preparation. I also want to thank our team…who have worked diligently to prepare us for this exciting moment.”

The temporary casino will operate until the construction of The American, Full House’s permanent casino is completed sometime in 2025.

Big crowd arrives for The Temporary grand opening

The Temporary by American Place opened with the usual fanfare. Casino employees and excess officially opened the casino with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. There was a long line of patrons wai ting to get in.

Visit Lake County President Maureen Reedy told local media the area has been patiently waiting for a casino. “There is nothing like it in Lake County, we’ve been trying to get one for a number of years so it’s really exciting it’s finally happening,” she said.

Lee told local reporters the new Illinois casino offers patrons a Las Vegas-style experience. “We’re bringing a touch of Las Vegas,” Lee said. “It’s a Las Vegas-quality casino.”

A massive white tent house’s the casino. Inside, there are 1,000 slot machines, 50 table games, and multiple restaurants.

One of The Temporary’s highlights is the Canoe Bar. The watering hole sits in the middle of the gaming floor. A chandelier made from actual canoes is suspended above the bar.

The casino has two open restaurants with a third on the way:

  • L’Américain: American food
  • Asia-Azteca: Asian and Latin cuisine
  • North Shore Steaks & Seafood: Opening in April, it will feature fine dining

Additionally, the casino houses a pair of Airstream trailers serving local craft beer, salad, sandwiches, and coffee.

How The Temporary could impact the Illinois casino industry

When a new Illinois casino opens in an established market, its goal is to grab as much revenue as possible. The Temporary has an excellent chance to do that by its location. It is the only casino between the Wisconsin border and Rivers Casino Des Planes.

That’s an important fact because Rivers Des Plains accounts for around 40% of the total revenue Illinois casinos earn. In January, that massive share amounted to $45.5 million of the $112.6 million in revenue that casinos generated.

A big chunk of Rivers’ revenue comes from gamblers in the Chicago metro area. But it also likely gets a substantial boost from gamblers driving south from Lake County and Wisconsin.

The Temporary has a chance to gobble up that traffic and convert it to revenue. Lake County alone has more than 700,000 residents. Additionally, Kenosha, which is home to around 100,000 residents, is about 15 minutes closer to The Temporary than it is to the closest casino in Wisconsin. These factors are a good sign for The Temporary.

Based on Illinois’ January revenue numbers, it’s possible that The Temporary could quickly become a top-five revenue generator. And, when Full House’s permanent casino opens in 2025, we should see the property become a top-three casino by revenue.

Photo by Graphic by Playin USA
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J.R. Duren

J.R. Duren has covered the gambling beats for more than a dozen states for Catena Media since 2015. His past reporting experience includes two years at the Villages Daily Sun, and he is a first-place winner at the Florida Press Club Excellence in Journalism Contest.

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