Northwest Indiana’s four casinos are unlikely to face some fresh competition from the south suburbs for no less than a year and a half.
According to reports, the redevelopment agreements regarding the planned construction of the Wind Creek Chicago Southland casino, which was recently approved by the Homewood and East Hazel Crest communities, show an expected project completion date of January 1st, 2025. Apart from that, the aforementioned agreements also note that a January 2025 opening is approximate and the final opening date may be subject to further delay by the casino developer.
Originally, mid-2023 or early 2024 was pointed out as the projected opening date for the casino project.
For the time being, Wind Creek Chicago Southland officials have not commented on the extended timeline for the casino development. The website of the casino project does not say much either, apart from indicating that the planned 70,000-square-foot casino and its adjacent 252-room hotel are expected to open up to 800 new full-time jobs.
As previously reported by CasinoGamesPro, on December 8th, 2021, the Illinois Gaming Board announced Wind Creek – a commercial company of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians – as the preferred candidate to develop a casino in Cook County. The project was officially authorized by the Illinois General Assembly in 2019.
Last summer, a groundbreaking ceremony took place. Currently, there is hardly any visible vertical construction at the site.
Wind Creek Casino to Feature 1,350 Slots and 56 Table Games
Once the project is complete, the Wind Creek casino is set to host a total of 56 table games and 1,350 slot machines, which would occupy about 80% of the overall capacity of the Hard Rock Casino Northern Indiana’s gaming floor.
The hotel adjacent to the casino in the southern suburbs is set to be about the same size as the one adjacent to the American Casino on Lake Michigan, East Chicago.
As previously reported, Wind Creek managed to defeat competing casino plans unveiled by Matteson, Lynwood and Calumet City. The commercial endeavour of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians decided not to open a temporary casino in the south suburbs while the construction works for the Wind Creek Chicago Southland casino project are ongoing. As a result, the gambling expansion plans of Illinois are expected to compete with the casinos situated in the Northwest part of Indiana, with the initial rivalry set to be posed by the temporary Bally’s Casino that is set to start operation later this summer or fall, featuring 50 table games and 750 slot machines.
For the time being, the construction works at the $1.7-billion permanent casino, hotel and entertainment complex location of Bally’s have not started. The facility is expected to start operation in early 2026. It is set to offer 173 table games and about 3,400 slot machines, with the figure doubling the gaming positions at the Hard Rock casino, along with a 500-room hotel and other amenities.