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Casino set to open in Des Plaines

The new Rivers Casino 3000 s River Road Des PlainesIll. It will open pending regulatory permissiJuly 18.  Tuesday June

The new Rivers Casino 3000 s River Road in Des Plaines,Ill. It will open, pending regulatory permission, July 18. Tuesday, June 21, 2011. | Brian Jackson~Sun-Times

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Updated: September 29, 2011 12:26AM

Gambling moves next door to Chicago when the new Rivers Casino opens next month in Des Plaines.

The casino will offer at least 1,050 slots and 48 table games with the highest betting limits in the state, officials said Tuesday as they showed off the sprawling, single-story facility.

Though construction is still being completed, officials already are boasting that the 147,000-square-foot gambling hall will sit at the leading edge of Chicago area casinos.

“We think it will blow away anything else here in the gaming market,” said Albert Liu, marketing vice president for Rivers.

A key draw will be its location: The casino sits in the southeast corner of Des Plaines at River Road and Devon Avenue, just across the street from Rosemont and its bustling hotels and convention center.

At least 16,000 hotel rooms are within five miles of the casino, Liu said.

It’s also just up the road from O’Hare Airport and 16 miles from downtown Chicago.

Though promising high-stakes gambling, casino officials wouldn’t disclose upper table limits, saying those details are still under review.

High rollers, however, will be able to gamble in a smaller, secluded gaming room that also includes an invitation-only lounge, Liu said.

The casino will feature four restaurants — Hugo’s Frog Bar and Chop House will be the priciest — along with two lounges, including Cube, which offers a multi-level outdoor patio and can switch from being a sports bar to a live music venue for up to 500 people.

Even restroom entrances are trimmed with the dark wood paneling and gleaming stone found throughout the casino, which will be open 22 hours daily.

The slot machines are spaced along wide aisles, with table games sitting near the middle of the casino, next to Lotus, a cocktail lounge that rises above the casino floor.

“It’s laid out to be very open, very spacious,” Liu said. “You won’t get lost.”

The casino also was built with eco-friendly touches, including LED lights and skylights to help save energy. Two walls of live, growing vines will decorate Canopy, the buffet dining spot inside the casino, Liu said.

A five-deck garage and surface lot will provide 2,300 parking spaces.

Pending final state approval, Rivers Casino is scheduled to open July 18.

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