The plans for a south suburban casino and luxury hotel cleared their first hurdle Monday night.
Homewood's village board voted on Monday night to approve a proposal for a nearly 64,000-square-foot casino with a hotel. The proposed location, which is directly off of I-80 near Halsted Street and 175th Street, sits in both East Hazel Crest and Homewood.
A small percentage of the casino's estimated gain of $155 million dollars a year would go to not only Homewood and East Hazel Crest, but 41 other south suburban municipalities.
"We believe that whenever we come into an area that everybody wins," said Arthur Mothershed, vice president of business development for Wind Creek Hospitality.
However, some residents at Monday evening's meeting expressed concerns about the crime it might bring.
"We're not anticipating hiring a whole new police force over this," said Homewood Police Chief William Alcott. "The other agencies are not seeing a major uptick in crime when they first opened there."
East Hazel Crest village officials will consider the proposal at its Oct. 9 meeting.
If the East Hazel Crest village board approves the project, Wind Creek Hospitality will be able to submit an application to the Illinois Gaming Board by its Oct. 28 deadline. The casino is predicted to create up to 800 full-time jobs.
Wind Creek, which is owned by the Poarch Band of Creek Indians, operates casinos in states including Alabama, Florida and Nevada.