Bally Receives Green Light for Planned Chicago Casino
Bally’s has received the green light from the Chicago Department of Planning and Urban Development for its exciting $1.7 billion casino hotel project in Chicago. Construction is set to begin in late 2024. This ambitious venture will not only create over 3,000 permanent jobs for the city but will also be Bally’s most expensive project to date.
Bally Has Big Plans for Chicago Casino
The development aims to combine green spaces, arts and entertainment areas, and upscale hospitality venues. The hotel tower, a prominent feature of the master plan, will be located at the north end of the site. It will boast a stunning facade that shimmers and reflects the nearby Chicago River, while housing amenities like a spa and various dining options.
However, before Bally’s can start gaming operations at the venue, it must obtain approval from the Illinois Gaming Board (IGB).
Excitingly, Bally’s recent agreement with Tribune Publishing regarding the Freedom Center, a 30-acre riverfront property, signals progress in the Chicago casino plan. As part of the agreement, Bally’s will provide cash payments to expedite the media company’s departure from the site by July 2024. Last year, Bally’s acquired the property for $200 million but later sold it to a private equity firm in a $500 million sale-leaseback transaction to secure funds for the Chicago casino project. Bally’s, however, retains the right to repurchase the land in the future.
Temporary Casino in the Mean TIme
In the meantime, Bally’s plans to open a temporary casino at Medinah Temple this summer. This interim venue is crucial for the operator as it helps establish a customer database and contributes to Chicago’s revenue generation. Bally’s President George Papanier stated that both the temporary casino and the main project are progressing according to schedule and budget.
Bally’s is also actively engaging with the Chicago community to foster positive relationships. The gaming company has filed plans with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for an initial public offering (IPO) linked to the Windy City casino. While the financial details of the offering are yet to be determined, Bally’s has committed to selling up to a 25% stake in the project to various stakeholders. These stakeholders include philanthropists, business owners, sports stars, celebrities, and individuals from the Black and Latino communities, as well as other ethnic and gender groups.
Currently operating 15 gaming venues across 10 states with a workforce of 10,500 employees, Bally’s is eager to make its mark with the first fully integrated casino resort in the heart of a major U.S. city—Chicago.