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The Illinois Gaming Board has selected a proposal from the combined villages of East Hazel Crest and Homewood that will likely bring a new casino in the south suburbs.

Last month, a WGN Cover Story reported how the bidding war was down to East Hazel Crest/Homewood and Matteson.

According to the Chicago Tribune, the decision by state gaming regulators doesn’t award a license but sets the stage for further evaluation of the proposal selected. Once the Illinois Gaming Board officially grants the permit, construction should take about 18 months to complete.

The Wind Creek Casino proposed for Homewood and East Hazel Crest would cost $440 million. The proposal is for a 64,000 square-foot casino off of Interstate-80 and Halsted Street.

“It will be the best revenue generator. The most traffic is there on I-80,” Village of Homewood Mayor Rich Hofeld told WGN last month.

The new casino would house 1,300 slots and 56 table games.

In addition to gaming, developers would build a 4-star diamond hotel with restaurants, bars and an entertainment center. Casino-goers would be able to stay in a 21-story hotel with a rooftop balcony offering views of Chicago’s skyline.

The casino would also provide permanent jobs to more than 800 people.