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Poarch Band of Creek Indians earns Illinois Gaming Board approval for Chicago casino resort

The Poarch Band of Creek Indians on Thursday announced that it had scored a regulatory victory in its plans to open a casino resort in Chicago, Illinois.

The tribe’s gaming business, Wind Creek Hospitality, has officially received approval from the Illinois Gaming Board to build a hotel and casino in Chicago’s south suburban area.

According to the tribe, the board’s ruling found that Wind Creek’s plans to be “preliminarily suitable” for obtaining the license. Under current plans, the tribe’s casino will open in 2023.

The tribe presently owns and operates three hotel and casino resorts in Alabama. Additionally, it owns one in Pennsylvania and two in the Caribbean. The Poarch Creek have received accolades domestically and internationally for its gaming operation. Several of the tribe’s hotel and casino resorts have obtained the highly sought-after AAA Four Diamond ratings.

Poarch Band of Creek Indians chairwoman and CEO Stephanie Bryan spoke to the economic impact their gaming operations have had in existing areas of operation.

“I am extremely proud that the Illinois Gaming Board recognizes the value of our Alabama-based Wind Creek Hospitality brand,” proclaimed Bryan. “We have seen the positive impact that our gaming businesses have had in our home state, as well as in Pennsylvania, Nevada, and Aruba and Curacao in the Caribbean. We know that gaming done the right way offers opportunities for economic development and job creation that can improve the quality of life in the communities where we make long-term investments. We are excited and honored to bring our business to Illinois and be a part of the greater Chicago community.”

Jay Dorris, Wind Creek Hospitality president and CEO, expressed gratitude to the Illinois Gaming Board for granting the entity license approval.

“As the Tribe’s gaming and hospitality entity, we are excited to work with stakeholders and leaders in the Chicago area to show what we can do,” advised Dorris. “I want to thank the Illinois Gaming Board for their diligence and look forward to our continued relationship.”

Alongside its gaming enterprise, the tribe holds an array of business divisions which range from a family-oriented amusement and water park, co-branded hotels through Creek Indian Enterprises Development Authority (CIEDA) to companies that provide services to federal and state governmental entities.

In full, the Poarch Band of Creek Indians oversees more than 20 business entities which provide significant economic impact in the Yellowhammer State.

Dylan Smith is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @DylanSmithAL