Golden Nugget Danville Casino in Illinois Celebrates Grand Opening

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The city of Danville, Illinois, has welcomed the grand opening of the Golden Nugget Danville Casino (pictured).

The recent event was marked by a ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by city officials, state representatives, and casino authorities.

The casino, which has been operating as a temporary venue earlier this year, is now fully open for business.

It features nearly 500 slot machines and a variety of table games, including baccarat, blackjack, roulette, and other classics.

The move comes at a time of expansion for the Illinois gambling sector, with Bally’s $1.7 billion Chicago casino and Penn Entertainment’s riverboat casino transformations both taking shape.

Related: Golden Nugget online casino, reviewed and rated

From Concept to Reality

The final grand opening of the Golden Nugget Danville shows just how long casinos can take to develop, with initial discussions on the project beginning in late December 2019.

Jimmy Wilmot, president of Danville Development, the owner of the casino, recounted the process.

 “We jumped into the weeds in December, January, and February (2019) and we started putting together a design team, people who could run the analytics for us, and tell us what the market’s going to do,” he said, as reported by Illinois’ Commercial News.

The project involved close collaboration with city officials, adjustments, and securing partnerships, before Danville Development and the Golden Nugget plan were selected.

“We were lucky enough in August of 2020 to become the selected developer of the city of Danville,” Wilmot said.

The project gained momentum after collaborations with recognized national brands like Landry’s, Golden Nugget, and Saltgrass Steak House.

The application was filed with the Illinois Gaming Board in November 2020, and the temporary venue opened in May 2023. Now, the full casino project is open for business.

A Big Step for Danville and Illinois

The grand opening ceremony marked the end of the soft opening phase and the beginning of full-fledged operations.

“Today is exciting, we are running our first promos, so floor-wide, you can win. You don’t have to just win a jackpot. You can win other prizes. We didn’t have legal ability to do that until today. So, it’s a big step for this casino,” Wilmot said.

Those prizes included a pachinko-style jackpot game for slots players and a $500 bonus cashback on any slots losses on the opening day for Golden Nugget 24K rewards club members.

Danville Mayor Rickey Williams praised the economic impact, job opportunities, and community benefits that the casino brings to the region.

“Let the good times roll,” he said at the end of the opening ceremony.

In a significant moment during the grand opening, a $1 million check was presented to the local chapter of U.S-wide nonprofit youth activity organizer the Boys & Girls Club.

“The Boys and Girls Club does such good work here in Danville that we wanted to be a part of that mission,” said James Lamond of Danville Development.

The new casino opening is part of a busy period for casinos in Illinois.  

Operator Bally’s is moving forward with its temporary venue at Medinah Temple in Chicago. That’s while it builds its $1.7 billion venue at the former Chicago Tribune offices. And Penn Entertainment recently started moving two of its long-time riverboat casino venues inland.

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