The new Cook County casino in the south suburban area of Illinois is down to four bidders. In June 2019, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker signed Senate Bill 690 into law, expanding the state’s casino and sports betting laws. The gambling expansion allows several areas and cities in Illinois to build a casino, including south suburban.
The deadline to submit a casino proposal to the Illinois Gaming Board is Monday, Nov. 4. There were initially six bidders for the would-be south suburban casino, though two recently dropped out: Country Club Hills and Crestwood.According to a recent report by The Chicago Tribune, Country Club Hills decided to reverse course and back a proposal by Matteson, a southern suburb of Chicago. Crestwood also seemingly dropped out of the field because they are not listed as one of the applicants for the new casino license.
The four remaining bidders are Calumet City, East Hazel Crest/Homewood, Lynwood and Matteson.
Calumet City is partnering with Southland Live Casino for their $275 million proposal in the River Oaks shopping center. If their proposal is approved, a temporary casino at the shopping center would be located at the vacant Carson Pirie Scott store while the 150,000-square-foot permanent gambling hall would be built.
East Hazel Crest and Homewood are partnering with Wind Creek Hospitality, owned by the PCI (Poarch Band of Creek Indians) Gaming Authority. Their proposal is for a near $300 million 64,000-square-foot casino located southwest of Interstate 80 and Halsted Street. The 24 acres of land that would host the structure sits on both suburbs of East Hazel Crest and Homewood.
Lynwood and the Ho-Chunk Nation, operators of several Wisconsin casinos, have partnered for their proposal. The project calls for a $300 million casino and hotel near highway 394 and Glenwood-Dyer Road and would include a temporary casino.
One of the most popular proposals is from Matteson, which has partnered with the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, the operators of numerous casinos in The Sooner State. The Matteson $300 million casino would be 123,000 square feet and would be located at U.S. 30 and Harlem Avenue.
“I believe this project will be an asset not just to Matteson, but to the entire Southland Region,” Matteson Village President Sheila Chalmers-Curring said, according to a recent report by The Chicago Sun-Times.
“After interviewing multiple casino operators, we felt the team led by the Choctaw Nation provided the best combination of experience, vision, community engagement and a financially feasible plan.”
While the deadline for the southern suburban Illinois casino is on Monday, the gaming board has up to a year under state law to contemplate the proposals.