Bally’s Corporation has opened a temporary casino in Chicago after passing regulatory checks. The casino is located at the Medinah Temple in the River North neighborhood.
The casino will be operated for up to three years as Bally’s continues construction of a permanent location in the River West neighborhood. The casino features two restaurants, two bars, a coffee bar as well as 800 gaming machines and 56 table games.
The economic impact study conducted in conjunction with the temporary casino suggests that it could generate $55 million for Chicago. Additionally, Bally’s will pay the Illinois Gaming Board more than $135 million in fees which will be used on infrastructure projects across the state of Illinois.
The permanent location is set to open in 2026, but in the meantime Bally’s will employ over 500 people at the temporary location. The casino will open from 8:00 until 04:00, seven days a week.
In December 2022, Chicago City Council voted 39-5 in favor of PD No. 1426, a 203 page proposal that gave approval for the construction of the casino and hotel resort. The resort is set to cost $1.7 billion and is on the former site of the printing plant of the Chicago Tribune newspaper. The proposal will allow Bally’s to operate up to 4,000 slot machines and table games at its casino location, and the city’s two major airports.
The state is one of the strongest performing gambling states in America, with Illinois sports betting usurping the likes of New Jersey and Nevada to sit second in total sports betting handle taken. Land-based casino accounted for 63% of the state’s 2022 commercial gaming revenue, with sports betting making up the remaining 37%.
Recently, Gaming Leisure Properties Inc purchased the land under the Hard Rock Casino in Illinois and has committed to providing up to $150 million of development funding.