Illinois has been a hot market lately for casino proposals and there is yet another one emerging here this week.
On Wednesday, the plans and proposal were laid out by Ho-Chunk Nation for a $300 million casino, hotel development and entertainment center in the city of Lynwood, far to the south of Chicago.
Now in the competition for a gambling license in Lynwood, Ho-Chunk Nation is a well-known operator which has six casino locations in several cities in Wisconsin: Black River Falls, Nekoosa, Madison, Tomah, Wisconsin Dells and Wittenberg.
The plot of land would be built at a new facility that Ho-Chunk Nation owns currently which lies roughly east of Illinois 394 and north of the highway’s interchange with Glenwood-Dyer Road.
If the state of Illinois approves the Ho-Chunk Nation for the new casino in Lynwood, the Southland Center, a sports complex in the area would be the temporary location for the casino. The new permanent casino, hotel and entertainment complex would be adjacent from the Southland Center. The proposed Lynwood project would be much closer to Chicago than casino proposals underway in other parts of Illinois such as Danville and Rockford.
According to the proposal picked up by the Beloit Daily News, the new casino will be constructed in four phases in the process.
Phase 1 would be a temporary home for a casino. Phase 2 would include the construction of the casino building itself which could generate 1,100 jobs. It will house slot machines, table games, a luxury hotel with more than 300 rooms and a few restaurant and bars.
Phase 3 would work to fix up and remodel the temporary casino and enlarge the Southland Center which would include an addition of 15,000 square feet of space in the process with a golf simulator, indoor climbing rock wall as well as racquetball and pickleball courts.
Lastly, phase four would add new landscaping, brand name boutique outlet stores and an outdoor seating area.
Lynwood Mayor Gene Williams told the Chicago Tribune that the new casino complex could also have a movie theater and water park.
”We are excited to bring to Lynwood our expertise in building and operating world-class entertainment facilities. This is an important opportunity to spur economic development growth and create jobs in the south suburbs and we have a proven track record of getting it right," District 4 Legislator, Ho-Chunk Nation Paul J. Fox tol Beloit Daily News. "Over the last 15 years, we have built strong relationships in the region, as demonstrated by the development and operation of the Southland Center, and we are committed to strengthening those ties and deepening that investment.”
This is the second time that Ho-Chunk Nation has made a proposal for a casino complex in Lynwood with the first one coming back in 2004.
Up next for this current 2019 plan will be a vote to endorse the Ho-Chunk Nation’s proposal by the Village Board. Then that would be submitted to the Illinois Gaming Board prior the deadline for casino license applications at the end of this month.