Empress Casino's fire damage costs millions

Mar 30, 2009 5:06 PM
by Ray Poirier | Fire damage to a pavilion adjoining the Empress Casino in Joliet, Illinois, has been estimated at $340 million.

The property, one of the most successful riverboat operations in the state, is owned by Penn National Gaming Inc. (PENN). The company said a welder’s torch in the $50 million expansion project caused the fire. Casino damage reportedly was limited but no date has yet been set for its reopening.

According to fire officials, the fire burned for 12 hours but was contained to the pavilion area.