“There is a lot of opportunity for us here,” said Smith. “It would look like the region is starting to come back slowly — economically speaking. We would like to be in the forefront of bringing great entertainment to the immediate area and the Chicago area.”

Smith’s previous casino had 5,300 slot machines, a far cry from the 1,200 slots at Hollywood Joliet, the maximum allowed by the state.

Smith, along with his wife and two-year-old son, are currently looking for a place to live and are excited to be moving to the midwest.

“I’ve been very impressed with not only the property but also the employees here,” he said. “It’s everything I expected with what I said about the Midwest — the friendliness. But it’s more than I expected.”


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