Home Illinois WATCH: Mayor Chooses Belly Plan for $ 1.73 Billion for Chicago Casino...

WATCH: Mayor Chooses Belly Plan for $ 1.73 Billion for Chicago Casino | Gambling


The city of Chicago is one step closer to achieving its dream of a casino within the city to try to save the money currently spent by Chicagoans in Northwest Indiana’s gaming venues.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced Thursday that she recommends the city council approve Bally’s Corp. from Rhode Island for the construction and operation of a casino, hotel and entertainment complex worth $ 1.74 billion northwest of Lupe, near the southern outskirts of Gus Island.

The Bally plan calls for the creation of a casino with space for 3,400 slot machines and 170 board games. It’s a little less gaming positions than the Horseshoe Casino in Hammond was at its peak about a decade ago.

For comparison, Horseshoe currently offers guests 1,885 slots and 115 tables, Hard Rock Casino Northern Indiana in Gary also has 1,612 slots and 79 tables, Ameristar Casino East Chicago has 1,266 slots and 47 tables, and Blue Chip City Casino is located in Michigan. 1420 slots and 30 tables.

People also read…

Bally’s also plans to build on its site, near the Chicago River on Halstead Street and Chicago Avenue, a 500-room hotel tower, a 3,000-seat theater, an outdoor park and music venue, Riverwalk extension, six restaurants, cafes and a dining hall, and other amenities.

“Everything will be on this site,” Lightfoot said. “The design of the hotels and casinos have been located and created to form iconic, memorable gates and a horizon along the Chicago River, which means that once completed it will seamlessly fit into our city’s existing landscape.”

Bally’s was elected mayor after an extensive process of consideration, community meetings and negotiations between all contenders, including Hard Rock Chicago and Rivers 78.

Lightfoot said Bally’s was chosen in part because it offered the highest minimum capital; a prepayment of $ 40 million to the city and $ 4 million each year thereafter, in addition to tax rates; up to 6,000 temporary and permanent jobs; labor peace agreement; and efforts to deliver casino benefits are equitably available to all Chicagoans.

The mayor also noted that Bally’s has no other casinos in the Chicago market, unlike Hard Rock in Gary and Rivers in De Plains, Illinois – ensuring that Bally’s will be fully focused on its property in Chicago.

“We are confident that the development of the Bally’s Tribune publishing center will support the city’s pension funds, create thousands of well-paid jobs and lead to a bright financial future for our city,” Lightfoot said.

Bally’s is an old gaming name recently acquired by a new company. By 2020, Bally’s was known as Twin River Worldwide Holdings, and its 15 casinos in 14 states, including the former Tropicana Casino in Evansville, Indiana, and the former Jumer’s Casino in Rock Island, Illinois, were mostly acquired through purchases. rather than new construction.

Su Kim, chairman of Bally’s Corp., said he is confident Bally’s has made a good bet on Chicago that will pay off for the city, its residents and Bally’s.

“Chicago is a unique and vibrant city that deserves world-class gaming and entertainment venues that run the local economy, sustain the local workforce, create wealth for minority investors and showcase the best the city has to offer,” Kim said.

Provided the mayor’s choice is ratified by the city council, Bally’s must also obtain Illinois gambling council approval to officially purchase a Chicago casino license created by the Illinois General Assembly in 2019.

The gaming board as a whole was moving at a very deliberate pace when issuing new Illinois casino licenses.

For example, the license for the southern suburbs of Cook County, also created in 2019, was only intended for Wind Creek, Illinois in December 2021 for a planned casino and hotel complex next to Interstate 80/294 on Halstead Street, on the border of Homewood and East Hazel Cress, Illinois.

Currently, Bally’s plans are to debut at Chicago Casino in early 2026. He also hopes to open a temporary casino with up to 800 slot machines and seats for board games by mid-2023 at the Medinah Temple, 600 N. Wabash Ave.

It is unknown at this time what he will do after leaving the post. Many city dwellers will still live closer to Indiana Casino than the Bali location, and getting to the region’s casino and parking in it will almost certainly be easier than driving downtown.

Horseshoe (Caesar’s), Ameristar (Penn National), Hard Rock and Blue Chip (Boyd) are also associated with major national casino brands that offer loyalty programs and benefits that are likely to be more generous than smaller Bally’s, especially with high taxes for games he will have to pay in Chicago.

Meanwhile, Illinois Municipal League CEO Brad Cole said there is no doubt that Bally’s Casino will gain many benefits for Chicago and Illinois at the expense of Indiana.

“The casino in Chicago will give a real increase in the city’s revenue of $ 200 million to support police and fire pension funds, as well as state revenue of $ 200 million to support capital improvement projects across the state,” Cole said.

“More importantly, the casino will create thousands of new jobs and return revenue from games that will be used to fund Indiana’s core services. This is obviously an important project for both the city and the state.”