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Bally's Chicago plans temporary casino opening Spring 2023

BALLY'S IN WEST RIVER

(Former Tribune Publishing Plant)
Chicago Avenue and Halsted Street
Chicago, Illinois

Bally's in River West

Bally's in River West, the first Chicago casino, was licensed in May 2022 as part of the gambling expansion program in authorized by Illinois in 2019. Bally's will be the largest casino in the state with 3,400 slot machines and 170 table games, six restaurants, a 500-room hotel and a 3,000-seat theater.

A temporary casino will be built at the Medinah Temple located at 600 N. Wabash Ave during construction of the permanent casino. The temporary casino's opening date will be in spring 2023.

History
Five Chicago casino applications with proposals were submitted prior the Oct. 29, 2021 deadline. Each proposal was reviewed by Chicago officials, and Bally's in River West was selected as winner. Bally's proposal is now under review for approval at the Illinois Gaming Board. See Chicago Casino Proposals.

News Headlines

News Chicago casino selection is announced by Mayor May 6, 2022 - Yesterday the final selection for the first Chicago casino was announced by Mayor Lori Lightfoot. The winning bidder is Bally's in River West. Hard Rock Casino Hotel and Rivers at The 78 had been been ... Read more News Chicago casino proposals are cut to three finalists March 30, 2022 - Last week Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced the city has postponed its final selection for a Chicago casino until early summer, and instead has selected three applicants as finalists for further consideration ... Read more News Chicago casino proposals presented at public meeting December 20, 2021 - Five casino proposals for Chicago were presented Thursday at a public meeting with Mayor Lori Lightfoot. Bally's presented two proposals, Rush Street presented two, and Hard Rock pre ... Read more News New details on 5 Chicago casino proposals November 22, 2021 - The office of Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot release additioinal details about the five Chicago casino proposals on Friday. Each proposal will be reviewed by a committee of city department leaders who will select one to ... Read more News 5 proposals submitted for Chicago casino-resort November 2, 2021 - Four applicants for the sole Chicago casino license have proposed five different locations to the Illinois Gaming Board. All applications were received by the board prior to the Oct. 29 deadline. ... Read more

Chicago Casino Proposals

Five proposals to build a Chicago casino were submitted by the deadline date of Oct. 29, 2021.

There are two Bally's Chicago proposals and both are similar. One would be located at the Chicago Tribune Publishing Center and the other at McCormick Place Truck Marshaling Yard. The other applicants are Hard Rock Casino Hotel at One Central, Rivers Chicago at McCormick Place, and Rivers Chicago at The 78.

Here is a summary of each proposal:

Bally's in River West At Chicago Tribune Publishing Center

Bally's Chicago Casino at Chicago Tribune

This applicant is Bally's Corporation, a publicly traded company headquartered in Rhode Island. Bally's owns and manages fourteen casinos located in ten states. One of these casinos is Bally's Quad Cities in Rock Island, formerly Jumer's Casino & Hotel.

Cost: $1.8 billion

Location: Chicago Tribune Publishing Center
Bally's has an option to purchase this property located at Chicago Avenue and Halsted Street. The Tribune's current lease ends in June 2023. Bally's would build a temporary casino next to the Tribune, and when the lease expires, Bally's would demolish the property and build a permanent casino.

Casino: 3,400 slot machines and 173 table games

Restaurants: Six restaurants, a food hall, three bars and lounges

Hotel: 500 rooms

Entertainment: 70,000-square-foot entertainment center with 3,000 seats

Conventions: 20,000-square-foot exhibition space

Bally's Chicago At McCormick Place Truck Marshaling Yard

Bally's Chicago Casino at McCormick Place

Cost: $1.6 billion

Location : McCormick Place Truck Marshaling Yard
This is a 28-acre site south of McCormick Place at 31st Street and Jean Baptiste Point DuSable Lake Shore Drive.

Casino: 3,400 slot machines and 173 table games

Restaurants: Six restaurants, a food hall, three bars and lounges

Hotel: 500 rooms

Entertainment: 70,000-square-foot entertainment center with 3,000 seat

Conventions: 20,000-square-foot exhibition space

Hard Rock

Hard Rock Chicago

This applicant is HR Chicago LLC, a partnership of Hard Rock International and other investors. Hard Rock International, which will manage the Chicago casino operations, is owned by the Seminole Indian Tribe in Florida.

Cost: $1.7 Billion

Location: One Central, a proposed development just west of Soldier Field.

Casino: 3,400 slots and 166 table games

Restaurants: Eight restaurant, a food hall, and six bars

Hotel: 500 rooms, Rock spa

Entertainment: Hard Rock Live with 3,500 seats

Other: Hard Rock will build temporary casino in McCormick Place's Lakeside Center. Hard Rock also wants train tracks built west of Soldier Field

Rivers Chicago at McCormick

Rivers Chicago at McCormic

This applicant is a partnership between Rush Street Gaming and Farpoint Development. Rush Street Gaming, headquatered in Chicago, owns four casinos, including Rivers Casino in Des Plaines, IL.

Cost: $1.3 billion

Location: Redevelopment of Lakeside Center at McCormick Place.

Casino: 2,600 slot machines and 190 table games

Restaurants: 12 restaurants, a food hall, and four bars. Additional bars at 7 of the restaurants.

Hotel: 2,900 existing hotel rooms

Entertainment: Arie Crown Theater will be renovated with 4,200 seats

Rivers Chicago at The 78

Rivers 78 Gaming Chicago

This applicant is a partnership between Rush Street Gaming and Related Midwest. Rush Street Gaming would manage the casino.

Cost: $2 Billion TBA

Location: The 78, a proposed 62-acre megadevelopment, would include this casino in an entertainment district on the north end at Roosevelt Road.

Casino: Up to 4,000 slot machines. Details TBA

Restaurants: Eight restaurants, a food hall and five bars

Hotel: 300 rooms

Entertainment: riverfront entertainment venue with rooftop space

Other: River dock would allow boats and water taxis to tranfer customers. A temporary casino would be established on a riverboat.


Chicago Casino Timeline

June 28, 2019
The Rebuild Illinois Act became law after its signing by Gov. Pritzker. The new law brings a vast expansion of gambling to Illinois including the licensing of new casinos in six cities. One of the cities designated for a casino is Chicago.

July 15, 2019
The Illinois Gaming Board was given 10 days to hire a private consulting company to research the market feasibility for a new casino in Chicago. Deadline July 15.

August 30, 2019
The findings of the consulting company were to be submitted in a report to the city within 45 days.

November 30, 2019
The city had 90 days to complete its review and submit its recommendation to the Illinois Gaming board for a final decision.

October 29, 2021
This date was the deadline for apprlicants to submit proposals for a Chicago casino. Five proposals were received. See proposals

Early 2022
Bally's in River West was selected by the Mayor and City Council in May 2022. Chicago officials have forwarded the Bally's casino proposal to the Illinois Gaming Board for vetting and final approval.

Mid-2022
The Illinois Gaming Board is expected to award the Chicago casino license to the winning applicant around mid-year 2022.

2023-2024
Construction of the Chicago casino will take 18-24 months to complete and followed soon afterwards with a grand opening.

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Five Chicago Casino Sites Were Considered

On July 17, 2021 Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot told the press there are five potential sites that may qualify for the first city casino. . All are on the south and west sides of Chicago.

Pershing Road and State Street
This location is near Guaranteed Rate Field, the baseball stadium of the White Sox. The area has the highest volume of vehicle traffic.

Michael Reese Hospital Area
This is near McCormick Place Convention Center and has the lowest neighborhood crime rate.

Harborside Area
This location at 111th Street and the Bishop Ford Freeway has the lowest population density and is closest to the Indiana casinos.

Roosevelt and Kostner

Former U.S. Steel Site
Location is 80th Street and Lake Shore Drive.

Chicago-Area Casino Market

The greater Chicago area currently has $2 billion in annual revenues ranking it the third city in the nation behind Las Vegas and Atlantic City.

There are currently five Illinois casinos and four Indiana casinos within proximity of Chicago. In the next few years there will also be additional Illinois casinos in Rockford, Waukegan, South Suburbs and Williamson County.

Illinois Casinos
Grand Victoria Casino - Elgin
Harrah's Joliet
Hollywood Casino Aurora
Hollywood Casino Joliet
Rivers Casino Des Plaines

Indiana Casinos
Ameristar East Chicago, IN
Blue Chip Casino & Hotel - Michigan City, IN
Horseshoe Casino - Hammond, IN
Majestic Star Casinos & Resort - Gary, IN


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News Articles

Chicago casino selection is announced by Mayor

May 6, 2022

Yesterday the final selection for the first Chicago casino was announced by Mayor Lori Lightfoot. The winning bidder is Bally's in River West. Hard Rock Casino Hotel and Rivers at The 78 had been been the final competition.

River West site chosen for Bally's casino - Courtesy of WGN News, May 5, 2022. Available from YouTube

Bally's in River West will be a $1.7 billion located on the Tribune Publishing site at Chicago Avenue and Halsted Street. Bally's will feature 3,400 slot machines, 170 table games, six restaurants, a 500-room hotel and a 3,000-seat theater.

Bally's grand opening will be in late 2025 or early 2026. A temporary casino will open in Spring 2023.

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Chicago casino proposals are cut to three finalists

March 30, 2022

Last week Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced the city has postponed its final selection for a Chicago casino until early summer, and instead has selected three applicants as finalists for further consideration.

Mayor Lightfoot cuts Chicago casino deck to 3 finalists - Courtesy of FOX 32 Chicago, Mar 22 2022. Available from YouTube

The three finalists under consideration for the Chicago casino license are:

Bally's in River West
Location: Chicago Tribune Publishing Center
Bally's Casino is a $1.8 billion proposal to build a casino with 3,400 slot machines and 173 table games, six restaurants, a food hall, a 500-room casino and a 3,000-seat concert venue.

Hard Rock Casino Hotel
Location: One Central
Hard Rock Chicago is a $1.7 billion proposal to build a casino west of Soldier Field featuring 3,400 slots and 166 table games, eight restaurants and a food hall, a 500-room hotel and Rock spa and a 3,500-seat Hard Rock Live concert venue.

Rivers Chicago at The 78
Rivers Chicago at The 78 is a $2 billion proposal to build a casino with 4,000 slot machines, eight restaurants and a food hall, a 300-room hotel and a riverfront entertainment venue.

The two rejected proposals were Bally's Chicago at McCormick Place Truck Marshaling Yard and the Rivers Chicago at McCormick Place.

The mayor is planning three public hearings in April, one with each of the bidders. After the hearings the mayor will select a finalist and prepare a community agreement for the Zoning Committee. If the mayor's selection is then approved by the City Council, the casino application will be sent to the Illinois Gaming Board for review and final approval.

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Chicago casino proposals presented at public meeting

December 20, 2021

Five casino proposals for Chicago were presented Thursday at a public meeting with Mayor Lori Lightfoot. Bally's presented two proposals, one in River West and another near McCormick Place. Rush Street Gaming also presented two proposals,Rivers 78 casino. and the Rivers Chicago at McCormick. The fifth proposal was presented by Hard Rock for a location near Soldier Field.

3 companies present bids for Chicago casino Thursday - Courtesy of WGN News, Dec 16, 2021. Available from YouTube

Mayor Lightfoot intends to select one of the five proposals in early 2022 and submit it to the City Council for approval. If approved by the council, the selected proposal will be sent to the Illinois Gaming Board for review and final approval.

The daylong session was held at UIC's Dorin Forum.

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New details on 5 Chicago casino proposals

November 22, 2021

The office of Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot release additional details about the five Chicago casino proposals on Friday. Each proposal will be reviewed by a committee of city department leaders who will select one to recommend to Mayor Lightfoot. The mayor will make the final decision subject to approval by the city council.

For the latest details see All Chicago Casino Proposals.

The five proposals are Bally's Chicago at either the Chicago Tribune Publishing Center or at McCormick Place Truck Marshaling Yard, Hard Rock at One Central, Rivers Chicago at McCormick, and Rivers 78 Gaming at The 78.

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5 proposals submitted for Chicago casino-resort

November 2, 2021

Four applicants for the sole Chicago casino license have proposed five different locations to the Illinois Gaming Board. All applications were received by the board prior to the Oct. 29 deadline.

The four Chicago casino applicants are Bally's Corporation, Hard Rock International, Rivers Chicago at McCormick LLC and Rivers 78 Gaming.

5 Chicago casino-resort proposals submitted - Courtesy of ABC 7 Chicago, Oct 31, 2021. Available from YouTube

Very few details of the applications have been released to the public at this time. However, some intitial information has been disclosed:

Bally's Corporation
Bally's has proposed a 1.6 billion casino resort complex to be built at one of two sites. One site is the McCormick Place Truck Marshaling Yard and the other is the Chicago Tribune Publishing Center at Chicago Avenue and Halsted Street.

Hard Rock International
HR Chicago, LLC has proposed a single site to be managed by Hard Rock International. More details are expected soon.

Rivers Chicago at McCormick LLC
Rivers Chicago at McCormick LLC proposes a casino managed by Rush Street Gaming LLC. The likely location is the McCormick Place area. More details to come.

Rivers 78 Gaming
Rivers 78 Gaming proposes a casino managed by Rush Street Gaming LLC. The site is undisclosed at this time. More details to come.

The casino applicant selected for the Chicago license will have the opportunity to operate a temporary casino for up to 24 months during constuction of the final casino resort.

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