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City Will Help Bally's Upgrade and Add On


Rock Island will help Bally's renovate and add to its casino and hotel. Monday night, the city council approved a new tax increment financing agreement.

Community and Economic Development Director Miles Brainard says the agreement will help Bally's upgrade the hotel for the first time since it opened in 2008. And the company plans to add a sports betting lounge.

"One of the things we see here in Illinois lately is a number of new casinos coming online in the market. Of course we have one that's going to be in Chicago but also Rockford, a little closer to us. So in order to be competitive it's important for them to add on these things."

The agreement requires the city to reimburse the company from tif district revenue - for about one million dollars the first year, and totaling an estimated 4.7 million dollars over 5 years. Bally's will spend 34 million dollars.

"Realistically we're playing a relatively small role in supporting the project and the casino is really putting its money where its mouth is in committing to this facility."

Brainard emphasizes Rock Island has a lot to gain from the continued success of the casino and hotel.

A native of Detroit, Herb Trix began his radio career as a country-western disc jockey in Roswell, New Mexico (“KRSY, your superkicker in the Pecos Valley”), in 1978. After a stint at an oldies station in Topeka, Kansas (imagine getting paid to play “Louie Louie” and “Great Balls of Fire”), he wormed his way into news, first in Topeka, and then in Freeport Illinois.