South Suburban Villages Seek Casino Action

East Hazel Crest and Homewood identify vacant site for casino development

By marcus riley
|  Tuesday, Nov 27, 2012  |  Updated 12:02 PM CDT
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Homewood and East Hazel Crest are the latest south suburban communities to show their hand in their quest for a casino.

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The competition for a south suburban casino is starting to heat up.

The villages of East Hazel Crest and Homewood have announced plans to enter a partnership to develop a vacant site immediately west of Halsted Street and south of I-80-294 into a "gaming and entertainment destination."

Developing the casino is dependant on the Illinois Legislature passing a bill. Previous versions have included a gaming license designated for the south suburbs.

The majority of the proposed development is in East Hazel Crest, a site officials say is readily accessible to 130,000 vehicles per day and a lure to potential customers who currently travel to Northwest Indiana's casinos.

The Board of Trustees for both villages will vote this week to approve the partnership and revenue sharing agreements.

Earlier this month, Cannery Casino Resorts announced plans to build a casino and 200-room hotel in Country Club Hills, also pending legislative approval. Several other south suburban communities are believed to be interested in a casino as well.

Gov. Pat Quinn has already vetoed a casino expansion bill this year. An Illinois Senate committee is expected to meet Wednesday to address some of Quinn's concerns about the bill, including a lack of ethical oversight.

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