Illinois is down to two bids for a new Chicago casino project

After so many proposals came in, things sure are heating up for who will be given the green light to move forward with a new casino in the Chicago area. Well, massive news has just come in over the past week, as Illinois is down to two bigs for a new Chicago casino project. It’s been the city’s hope for a while now to bring in a new casino in the suburbs. Now, we’re inching closer and closer to that.

According to local reports, government officials voted 4-0 to move forward with two projects as the finalists. Originally, things had been moved down to four, but that number has since been cut in half. So, who is still in the running to get something done here for the folks of Chicago for their gambling needs to be met? This would of course be massive for Illinois sports betting moving forward too.

Well, things indeed are down to one location at Homewood and East Hazel Crest, and the other is in Matteson, which is located about 30 minutes outside of Chicago. These south Chicago suburban projects have been met with plenty of excitement, as things are expected to keep on moving forward here. This is something that has plenty of folks pumped up for the future.

With that said, these two projects will have opportunities to try and convince local officials to have them go with them. This was an incredibly popular project for people to try and move forward with, but ultimately, a tough decision will be coming for the state and city. The expectation is that a call will be coming sometime early on in 2022, which means the wheels truly are going to be in motion here.

Who are the finalists for the South Chicago suburban casino project?

We know what you’re wondering, who are the finalists for the South Chicago suburban casino project? Well, in terms of the Homewood and East Hazel Crest bid, it is being powered by the Alabama-based Wind Creek Hospitality company. Wind Creek Hospitality runs a total of 10 casinos across Alabama, Florida, Nevada and other locations. Now, they’re looking to take things to Illinois as their next venture.

According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Wind Creek Hospitality presented their project at a public forum earlier this month and they said that their plan is to build a $300 million casino off of Interstate-80. On top of that detail, Wind Creek is planning to have this casino be 64,000 square feet and also feature a 21-story hotel center. On top of that, there will also be an entertainment center. This would be something.

“This development promises to be the best in and for the entire Southland region, with job creation, economic and community investment, sustained operational excellence, and a strong commitment to diversity and inclusion in all phases of construction and operation,” Wind Creek CEO Jay Dorris told the Chicago Sun-Times via an e-mail response.

Meanwhile for the Matteson bid, this project is being presented by successful businessman Rob Miller and the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. That’s a Native American Tribe which runs 22 casinos in total. Per the Sun-Times, this side is looking to build a $300 million casino at the old Lincoln Mall. With this project, they’re presenting a 200-room hotel, convention center and of course a 123,000 square foot casino.

When will a decision be made for this casino project?

While an exact date is yet to be announced, everyone wants to know when will a decision be made for this casino project. Local officials are hopeful that things can be finalized by early next year. Remember, this is all part of Governor J.B. Pritzker’s plan to add six more casinos in total to Illinois. Right now there are four, but in 2019 he signed an agreement that would see that number move up to 10, which is exciting news.

On top of this south suburban Chicago casino project, folks are also paying close attention to the plans for a new casino expected to be coming to the downtown part of the city. This of course is going to have a massive impact on the economy for Chicago, as people couldn’t be more excited for a casino to be located in the heart of the big city. Things are getting more and more promising for that venture as well.

That’s because the deadline for the proposals for a new casino to reach the offices of Mayor Lori Lightfoot must be submitted soon. Once that deadline passes, which was extended for additional time as well, then things will really start getting serious for that downtown project. With the Illinois sports betting ban expected to be lifted soon too, this will only add to the excitement for everyone.

First thing’s first, though, and that’s finalizing the suburban project as soon as possible. This is something the governor is really looking forward to and the fact that two finalists have emerged is some great news. Hopefully by February at the latest, a decision will be made on who will come out on top of this battle. As soon as the winner is chosen, they can start thinking about breaking ground to start building quickly.

Chris Boline

Chris Boline is an avid sports fan and currently works within the sports industry. He has previously written for outlets covering the NBA G League, Los Angeles Chargers, Mountain West Conference football and basketball and has been a writer for over 10 years. Chris is very involved within his local community and spends his free time working with community organizations, sitting on boards, and spending time with friends and family.