🎰 ON 1ST BIRTHDAY, ELGIN CASINO WISHES FOR ANOTHER GRAND YEAR - Chicago Tribune

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As Chicagoland's premier gaming establishment, Grand Victoria Casino takes pride in its unparalleled customer service and offers exhilarating gaming action.


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Grand Victoria to offer specials for its 20th birthday
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For one year now, the Grand Victoria in Elgin has been on a roll-rolling on the river, rolling the dice, rolling in dough, just rolling, rolling, rolling.


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Step into the Grand Victoria Casino, commonly called β€œThe Boat”, and you'll be If your birthday is in March you'll have a gift waiting for you at the service desk!


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One guy I know, he used to hit us for instant lottery tickets, and now he's broke all the time. The Grand Victoria remains a fledgling business, yet it has become so flush so soon that its challenge is more to hold the bottom line than to pull it up. When Illinois lawmakers approved riverboat gambling in , they ballyhooed the casinos' potential to stimulate economic development in struggling river towns. The Grand Victoria must continue to prosper for spinoff businesses to have a chance, and for now, the casino's forecast remains sunny. But at the Grand Victoria, only 3 percent of the customers come from outside Illinois, Simon said. Overall, the Grand Victoria ranks third in gross revenues since its opening. Now they are converting it into a microbrewery-restaurant, confident the casino's crush of daily visitors and the microbrewery craze will add up to a packed dining room and bar. According to industry experts, the casino most likely to suffer because of the Grand Victoria is the Hollywood Casino in Aurora, about 20 miles down the Fox River. The boat's success comes despite the fact it was the last to launch in Illinois. In a business where players have been known to form deep, loving ties to a specific slot machine, it can be difficult for a new competitor to come between a customer and his or her favorite casino. In Elgin, however, buildings remain vacant downtown, and the reviews from business owners have been mixed. Using riverboat revenues, the city provided the restaurant's owners with a subsidized interest rate. Rosemont, however, is not. Illinois, like other states that have approved casinos, hoped its riverboats would boost tourism and draw out-of-state dollars. For the most part, though, the riverboat's task has been to stay the course. This summer the boat also established itself as the leading moneymaker, the new Mr. As its first anniversary approaches on Friday, the state's largest floating casino finds itself in an enviable position. The Grand Victoria also has refrained from offering credit to its players and has conducted a relatively modest advertising campaign. If more riverboat casinos do get launched in the Chicago area, the multimillion-dollar question will be this: Can the gambling pie expand even further, as it did with the Grand Victoria? Elgin Mayor Kevin Kelly calls the riverboat an "outstanding addition" to Elgin's downtown.

For one year now, the Grand Victoria in Elgin has been on a roll-rolling on the grand victoria casino birthday, rolling the dice, rolling in dough, just rolling, rolling, rolling.

The Grand Victoria's anniversary falls on Friday, but the riverboat will begin celebrating the day before with a reception and cake-cutting ceremony.

New businesses would sprout to take advantage of the traffic. The Chicago area's two other grand victoria casino birthday operations, both in Joliet, have fared even better over that same period.

The Grand Victoria's design also has attracted customers, Simon said. And it has accomplished grand victoria casino birthday of this without chewing into the gross profits of the Chicago area's other riverboats, providing more evidence that the appeal of casino gambling in Illinois is seemingly limitless.

The most obvious reason for the casino's success is location. Big of Illinois casinos. And because the floor has no windows to the river, the effect is not unlike a Las Vegas casino.

The new visitors would drop money at restaurants, hotels and retail shops. Charles, Simon said. Nor is Arlington Heights or, for that matter, Chicago. While the Grand Victoria's own success is unquestioned, the benefits to Elgin still are being debated.

A test of the riverboat's potential for economic development is taking shape just down the street from its dock. State law forbids casinos from having more than 1, gaming positions-slot machines or seats at a blackjack table, for example. In slightly less than 11 months-from Oct. Any or all could land a casino if the General Assembly expands gambling, although that seems unlikely to happen this year or next.

Since opening on Oct. Casino management has tinkered with some things, introducing Caribbean stud poker and shifting gaming positions so that it can offer click games in its no-smoking casino.

The cake will be shaped grand victoria casino birthday the riverboat and will feed up to people.

Gambling revenue is spiraling ever higher, defying those who think that the market is reaching a saturation point. Its revenues, however, have held steady. Or will the competition simply gobble up the existing boats' slices? But in each of the past three months for which figures are available, the Elgin riverboat topped the state's money list. Indiana's first riverboat casinos will open later this year, but Simon doesn't expect them to take away customers. And since the Grand Victoria's cruises are mostly booked already, the casino's opportunities to make more money are limited. The riverboat draws most of its customers from a large loop that goes from Chicago and wraps around Crystal Lake, Rockford and St. Last October, in the same month that the Grand Victoria opened, Joe Elias and a business partner purchased the old Grove Theater as an investment. Instead of adopting a multiple-deck layout with several small rooms for gambling, the Grand Victoria placed almost all of its slots and tables on a single, sprawling floor. About the only thing the riverboat casino would rather not roll with is change-such as having a casino open in Chicago, Rosemont or Arlington Heights, or having the state's tax rate on boats increased.