Nevada developer wants to build $250M Country Club Hills casino - FOX 32 News Chicago

$250M Country Club Hills casino plan unveiled

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COUNTRY CLUB HILLS, Ill. (Sun-Times Media Wire) -

Casino owner Bill Paulos on Tuesday pledged to build a $250 million casino resort in Country Club Hills.

Paulos, whose company is a majority owner of North Las Vegas-based Cannery Casino Resorts, said they are ready to build the facility within 1-1/2 years if the state Legislature approves an expansion of gambling that includes a south suburban casino.

"Understanding we do not have a law yet ... we want everyone to know we're prepared," Paulos said. "We're here, we're ready and we're able."

Paulos stood alongside elected officials while unveiling the project at the Country Club Hills Wellness Center, 4411 Gatling Blvd.

The 40-acre site at the northeast corner of 175th Street and Cicero Avenue, near the interchange between Interstates 80 and 57, would include a casino, parking garage and a 200-room hotel.

Cannery Casino Resorts would develop the project in partnership with Lafayette and Marguerite Gatling, owners of the Gatling's Chapel funeral homes in Chicago. They own the land the property sits on.

Before the company can realize its plans, the state Legislature would have to pass a gambling expansion bill that Gov. Pat Quinn would agree to, or one that would garner enough votes to withstand a Quinn veto.

Quinn in August vetoed a bill that would have established riverboat casinos in an undecided south suburban location as well as Danville, Park City, Rockford and Chicago.

Under that bill, municipalities in Bloom, Bremen, Calumet, Rich, Thornton and Worth townships could submit bids for the casino, and the Illinois Gaming Board would select the winner. The mayors of Chicago Heights, Ford Heights, Lynwood and Calumet City also have expressed interest in pursuing a casino.

Paulos said he didn't think his pledge to build a casino in Country Club Hills would sway lawmakers.

"That's like battling Santa Claus at Christmastime," Paulos said. "We don't pressure politicians. They know what's best for the state."

Country Club Hills Mayor Dwight Welch was optimistic about his city's chances.

"We're going to get it," Welch said. "It's our time."

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