$275 Million Plan for Chicago Suburb Casino Gets Approval

  • Alabama's Poarch Band of Creek Indians is behind the Homewood casino proposal
  • The project will also include the development of a 251-room hotel
  • The establishment is estimated to bring annual revenue of $155m and create 800 full-time jobs
  • The tribe has until October 28 to submit details of its plans to the Illinois Gaming Board
panoramic shot of Chicago, Illinois
The Chicago suburb of Homewood has given its approval for the development of a $275m casino and hotel resort facility pitched by Wind Creek Hospitality. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Big move for Chicago

The Chicago suburb of Homewood has given its approval to a new $275m casino project following a pitch from Wind Creek Hospitality, the gaming division of Alabama’s Poarch Band of Creek Indians.

the tribe estimates annual revenues of $155m

The casino complex will be 64,000 square feet in size and will house three restaurants and an entertainment center, among other facilities. The second phase of the project will reach completion four years after the opening of the concert and casino space. This will see the construction of a hotel with 251 rooms, a spa, and an indoor pool. 

The tribe estimates annual revenues of $155m, some of which will go to the surrounding municipalities. The project will also create as many as 800 full-time jobs.

Brent Pinkston, chief operating officer of Wind Creek Hospitality, said:

That location can drive the best tax revenue, which will benefit all south suburbs.”

The next step

Receiving approval from local officials is just the first step for this project to get off the ground. The property will need to obtain additional permission as it spread over two counties, East Hazel and Homewood.

Once East Hazel gives its go-ahead, Wind Creek has until October 28 to send its plans for this facility to the Illinois Gaming Board (IGB).

Operations elsewhere

Wind Creek Hospitality already has casino operations in Pennsylvania, Nevada, Florida, and Alabama. It also owns properties in Aruba and Curacao.

The tribe has close dealings with the local communities where its facilities are located. Following a tornado in Alabama earlier in 2019 which resulted in 23 deaths, the tribe spent $184,000 covering all of their funeral expenses.

The gaming division’s largest project to date came in March 2018. The tribe paid $1.3bn to Las Vegas Sands for the Bethlehem Casino in Pennsylvania, with plans to allocate $190m for the resort’s expansion.  

Gambling expansion in Illinois

A wide-ranging gambling expansion bill was approved in Illinois back in July, after Governor J.B. Pritzker’s signature was obtained. The legislation allows for five smaller regional casinos to be built in the Chicago suburbs, with additional plans for the construction of a large resort casino in downtown Chicago. 

The Ho-Chunk Nations tribe from Wisconsin has also proposed the development of a $380m casino facility in the suburb of Lynwood. Plans for this regional gambling establishment are yet to be voted on.