Those anticipating the opening of a new Illinois casino in a suburb south of Chicago will have to wait even longer than expected. The grand opening of the Chicago Southland Casino, which Wind Creek Hospitality is building, is now scheduled for January 2025.
The original plan was for the casino to be ready in spring 2024. However, according to redevelopment agreements recently approved by the East Hazel Crest and Homewood suburbs where the facility will be placed, the updated timeline indicates a delay of several months.
This is bad news for the locals that have been waiting for this new entertainment destination. However, the delay could be good news for the competition nearby.
Wind Creek Chicago Southland Casino opening pushed back at least 18 months
Wind Creek Hospitality has put a lot into this new Illinois casino. The budget for the entire project, including land acquisition, construction and licensing fees, is estimated at $529 million. Construction started last September after the company got approval from the Illinois Gaming Board.
The casino is being built between the suburbs of Homewood and East Hazel Crest. Initially, the casino was expected to open during the second half of 2023 or at the beginning of 2024. However, the two communities recently approved new redevelopment agreements that listed the new opening day of the casino as scheduled for early January 2025.
That creates a delay of at least 18 months. The estimated completion date mentioned in the agreements is also subject to further extensions or delays. Casino officials have not commented on the delay. The Wind Creek casino’s website only states that the casino is “coming soon.”
The casino project is expected to generate around 600 construction jobs during its development phase. Once it is up and running, it should create about 800 permanent jobs.
The new property will have a 70,000-square-foot gaming floor with 1,350 slot machines and 56 table games. There will also be a 252-room luxury hotel and multiple restaurants and entertainment venues.
Updates on other pending Illinois casino projects
Wind Creek didn’t want to open a temporary casino during the construction of the Chicago Southland Casino. That is unlike many of the operator’s competitors that will likely benefit from the long delay of this new casino.
The temporary Bally’s Casino, with 750 slot machines and 50 table games, is set to open later this summer or fall at the Medinah Temple in Chicago’s River North neighborhood.
Construction hasn’t started yet on Bally’s $1.7 billion permanent casino, entertainment and hotel complex. That is going up at the intersection of Chicago Avenue and Halsted Street in the city’s River West neighborhood. It is expected to open at the beginning of 2026.
Meanwhile, the IGB granted Full House Resorts an extension to operate its temporary casino until February 2026. The Temporary by American Place will operate until the construction of the $400 million permanent American Place casino is complete. Right now, the permanent casino is in the advanced design phase. It is waiting for final planning and development approval from local officials.
Work on the Walker’s Bluff Casino and Resort is continuing. The facility in Williamson County is on schedule for a grand opening sometime this year.
Lastly, Hard Rock International is moving forward with its plans to open a new casino next year. The IGB approved a one-year extension for Hard Rock’s temporary casino location in Rockford. The Rockford Casino – A Hard Rock Opening Act can remain open until November 10, 2024. Construction of the permanent location is ongoing, with the hopes of opening it up in the summer of 2024.