Chicago’s first casino is on the cusp of commencing operations, shortly after the Labor Day holiday, at Bally’s temporary Medinah Temple gambling hall.
Regulatory authorities are scheduled to conduct inspections of the temporary casino site at the Medinah Temple on September 5 which will be followed by a monitoring of practice gaming sessions on September 6-7, Chicago Sun-Times reported. If everything goes well with the evaluations, the facility could be open to the public by the weekend of September 9, the report said, citing Illinois Gaming Board officials.
The Rhode Island-based company has transformed the Medinah Temple facility to house approximately 750 slot machines and 50 table games. Bally’s has plans to onboard a workforce of 700 employees to facilitate operations at this site.
The temporary casino is envisioned to remain operational for a duration of up to three years. During this interim period, Bally’s will concurrently be constructing their permanent casino at Chicago Avenue and Halsted Streets. Bally’s hopes to open the permanent casino by early 2026, featuring 3,400 slots and 170 table games.
Former Mayor Lori Lightfoot, who spearheaded the selection of Bally’s as the casino project contractor, pushed for its progression through the Chicago City Council in spring 2022. Originally slated for a cash flow initiation in the first half of the present year, the temporary casino’s timeline saw adjustments. In July, the Illinois Gaming Board approved a “determination of preliminary suitability” for Bally’s plan for the Medinah Temple site.
As per Bally’s executives cited by Chicago Sun-Times, the company anticipates generating a monthly profit ranging from $3.5 million to $5 million from operations at the Medinah venue until year-end. This revenue is anticipated to grow to as much as $60 million for the entirety of 2024, as gaming activities mature.
The city authorities are eyeing potential annual tax revenue amounting to $55 million from the temporary location, with further prospects of approximately $200 million annually from the permanent casino. It is expected that the permanent casino will potentially amass over $800 million per annum by 2028. The tax revenue garnered from casino operations is designated to fortify the city’s financially strained police and firefighter pension funds.