A fourth community in Illinois has reportedly entered the race in hopes of securing permission to build and operate the casino that is being licensed for the southern suburbs of Chicago.
According to a Sunday report from The Times of Northwest Indiana newspaper, Calumet City has unveiled a plan that would see it partner with global food service and hospitality firm Delaware North Companies Incorporated in order to bring a $275 million facility christened as the Southland Live Casino to a 20-acre plot of Cook County land located less than two miles from Illinois’ border with the neighboring state of Indiana.
The newspaper reported that the city’s proposal calls for the 150,000 sq ft Southland Live Casino venue to be built next door to the existing River Oaks shopping center featuring a gambling floor complete with a selection of 1,200 slots as well as some 35 gaming tables. The scheme purportedly moreover envisions the later construction of an adjacent 18-story hotel featuring 200 rooms in hopes of one day helping to spur further development that could encompass a sports complex, a parking garage and a convention center.
Delaware North Companies Incorporated is already responsible for numerous casino and gaming properties across the United States including West Virginia’s Mardi Gras Casino and Resort and the Jumer’s Casino and Hotel in the Illinois city of Rock Island. The firm’s Timothy Hughes reportedly told The Times of Northwest Indiana that the planned Southland Live Casino would ‘fulfill a longstanding goal of establishing a south suburban casino’ that would be able to ‘provide an economic infusion for a predominantly minority community.’
Hughes reportedly stated…
“River Oaks has been an economic anchor of the southeast suburbs for more than half a century but it needs this exciting casino destination to bring it back to its former glory.”
Illinois is already home to ten casinos but legislation signed into law by the Midwestern state’s Governor, Jay Robert Pritzker, in June is due to see this complement grow by as many as six via the licensing of gambling venues for the cities of Chicago, Waukegan, Danville and Rockford as well as for locations in the more rural jurisdictions of Williamson County and Cook County. The race for this latter license is set to be particularly competitive with the communities of Lynwood and Matteson having already launched similar separate plans of their own while the villages of East Hazel Crest and Homewood are hoping to partner with Alabama’s Poarch Band of Creek Indians in order to open a $275 million casino of their own only about 34 miles from downtown Chicago.
The Times of Northwest Indiana reported that communities have until the end of the month to submit their official bids for the Cook County casino license to the Illinois Gaming Board although an ultimate decision is not expected until next summer at the earliest. Osi Imomoh from Delaware North Companies Incorporated purportedly told the newspaper that his company is looking forward to being able ‘to bring another successful casino operation to Illinois’ after narrowly losing the 2008 race for the right to operate what eventually became the Midwestern state’s Rivers Casino Des Plaines.
According to Imomoh…
“Southland Live Casino will be a world-class entertainment destination unlike anything Illinois has seen while revitalizing an iconic location in the south suburbs.”