There will be a casino in the South Suburbs next year. Wind Creek, the authority of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians, was found to be “preliminarily suitable” to develop an Illinois casino.
The property will be located immediately south of I-80 on the border of Homewood and East Hazel Crest.
The casino hopes to open for business sometime in mid-2023, bringing players an elite experience unlike anything else nearby.
Jay Dorris, the president and CEO of PCI Gaming Authority, made it clear during a conversation with the gaming board that Wind Creek will be more than just a money-making entity for the area.
“Wind Creek Hospitality will not just build a casino, but truly create a community in the South Suburbs with job creation, community investment and sustained operational excellence.”
Wind Creek opening for business will give gamblers more Illinois casino options than ever before.
Features of the Wind Creek Illinois casino
The casino site is located 30-35 minutes south of Chicago. It’s also just a few miles west of the Indiana state line.
Builders envision a massive casino floor that’s almost 70,000 square feet. The area will be able to handle more than 1,300 slot machines and 50 table games.
Wind Creek is also building a 252-room hotel to pair with the casino. The hotel will feature an indoor pool and spa along with an enclosed attached parking garage.
Wind Creek Illinois is constructing a 15,800 square-foot entertainment venue, in addition to a 35,000 square-foot facility for meeting space and conferences.
The company also said it was exploring a partnership with the nearby Ravisloe Country Club to offer golf for guests.
According to estimates, building the resort could come at a cost of $440 million. It’s the first new endeavor by Wind Creek Hospitality since the group’s 2019 purchase of Sands Casino in Bethlehem, PA.
If everything goes according to plan, Wind Creek Illinois will bring in over $155 million of revenue in its first year. The casino plans to bring 800 jobs to the area.
Support from Community Leaders
Wind Creek has been hailed by area leaders as the right operator for the casino.
Harvey Mayor Christopher J. Clark noted the fact that 80 million vehicles pass by the proposed site on I-80 each year. He believes those high traffic numbers will be a huge benefit for the project.
“It will bolster the ongoing development of the Halstead corridor and improve prospects for more development northward into Harvey.”
Harvey is the town to the immediate north of East Hazel Crest.
State Senator Napoleon B. Harris III also lauded the efforts of Wind Creek.
“The easy-to-access location creates a solid foundation for the proposed quality “four diamond” casino and entertainment complex – one that will maximize revenue and draw significant out-of-state visitors on a continuing basis from across the border in Indiana.”
Four diamonds refers to the Triple-A ratings bestowed on quality resorts and hotels throughout the world.
Wind Creek’s promise to give back
To demonstrate its commitment to the area, Wind Creek Illinois made a commitment to get involved in the South Suburbs community.
That includes setting aside a portion of jobs for residents who are members of the LBGQT community and from various ethnic backgrounds.
Wind Creek Illinois has also created the Southland Public Benefit Fund that expects to distribute $150,000 annually in scholarships for disadvantaged students in the area. After five years, the goal is to distribute $1 million annually.