The Poarch Band of Creek Indians has reportedly announced that it is hoping to enter the Illinois casino market by being given permission to build and run a $275 million gambling facility on the border between the southern Chicago suburbs of East Hazel Crest and Homewood.
According to a Wednesday report from the Chicago Tribune newspaper, the federally-recognized tribe revealed that its Wind Creek Hospitality arm is set to apply for a casino license in order bring a 64,000 sq ft casino complete with a live music venue to a 24-acre site located alongside the intersection of Interstate 80 and Illinois Route 1.
The newspaper reported that the Poarch Band of Creek Indians is already responsible for ten casinos including Pennsylvania’s giant Wind Creek Bethlehem and wants the first phase of its inaugural Illinois facility to also feature a trio of restaurants alongside a pair of bars. The Alabama tribe would purportedly like the Cook County development to offer a complement of some 1,300 slots in addition to approximately 60 gaming tables and later envisions adding a 251-room hotel encompassing an indoor spa and pool.
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 with the licensing of gambling venues for the cities of Chicago, Waukegan, Danville and Rockford as well as for locations in the jurisdictions of Williamson County and Cook County. The Poarch Band of Creek Indians reportedly told the newspaper that its planned casino would create as many as 800 new jobs and could generate first-year gross gaming revenues of up to $155 million.
Brent Pinkston, Chief Operating Officer for Wind Creek Hospitality, reportedly told the Chicago Tribune that his firm has been in talks with officials in Homewood and East Hazel Crest ‘for several years’ and believes that the proposed location for the envisioned casino could help Illinois to recapture gambling revenues that are currently flowing to facilities in nearby Indiana.
Pinkston reportedly told the newspaper…
“We think the site is a great location. That location can drive the best tax revenues, which will benefit all south suburbs.”
The Chicago Tribune reported that the site for the planned suburban Chicago casino was previously home to two now-demolished hotels while officials in Homewood are set to hold a public meeting on Monday before deciding whether to support the casino plan. The newspaper additionally detailed that this is to be followed by a similar Wednesday gathering in East Hazel Crest with Pinkston proclaiming that he believes it would take about one year to construct the first phase of the envisioned Illinois development.