Wind Creek’s Illinois Casino Delayed Again, New Documents Reveal

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Wind Creek Hospitality’s planned casino in the south suburbs of Illinois has postponed its opening to January 1, 2025.

The Chicago Southland casino was initially slated to open its doors later this year or early 2024. However, redevelopment documents reveal it has had to adjust its time line because of unforeseen circumstances, as reported recently in the Chicago Tribune.

The $529-million, 73,000-square-foot venue began construction last December.

“It’s proceeding on course,” said Rich Hofeld, mayor of Homewood, one of the suburbs the casino will be serving. “It would be nice to have it done tomorrow.”

Wind Creek Hospitality has yet to officially comment on the news.

Luxury Hotel and Entertainment

The Chicago Southland Casino is a significant project for the East Hazel Crest and Homewood suburbs, and the wider area.

The casino venue will span 73,000 square feet and will feature a 70,000-square-foot gaming floor, 1,350 slot machines, and 56 table games. In addition to the gaming facilities, the property will also house multiple restaurants, entertainment venues, and a 252-room luxury hotel.

As well as costing more than $500 million, construction alone is expected to employ more than 600 people. That should rise to 800 permanent jobs when it opens, although that, of course, is now delayed.

The exact time line for the casino’s opening is still uncertain, with the redevelopment agreements originally indicating the casino will be finished in the fall of 2024.

However, Wind Creek’s representatives have not provided a definitive date. The anticipated new completion date of January 1, 2025 mentioned in the updated agreements seen by the Tribune is also approximate and may be subject to further extensions or delays.

Bullish on the Market

The casino’s revenue will be shared among the participating south suburban communities, including Homewood and East Hazel Crest, as per state legislation under the legal casino gaming framework.

Both villages that will host the casino have also been asked to support a resolution to the Cook County Board seeking a tax break for the casino under a Class 8 designation. That could see a significant reduction in property tax for developers.

Wind Creek Hospitality inked a sponsorship deal with Illinois NBA team the Chicago Bulls back in November, after first announcing it as a mystery sponsorship.

The partnership is expected to increase Wind Creek’s exposure to Chicago-area residents.

As part of the agreement, Wind Creek branding will be present at the United Center, the home of the Bulls. On game days, the casino operator will also run promotions and competitions in partnership with the NBA franchise.

“As a new brand coming to the Chicagoland market, we believed it was important to establish a name for ourselves and a level of credibility with the local market as quickly as possible,” said Wind Creek executive Brett Pinkston at the time of the deal.

However, “quickly as possible” hasn’t really materialized for the project’s construction so far.

The project also faces incoming competition from various casino operators. Penn Entertainment is in the process moving some of its riverboat casinos inland to permanent sites, and Bally’s is planning a huge $1.7 billion resort in the Freedom Center area in the heart of Chicago.

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