Bally’s said it plans to file an application for Chicago's first and sole casino with the Illinois Gaming Board by the end of the month. Chairman Soo Kim also said he feels “reasonably confident” Bally’s will secure that approval in time to launch its temporary casino within 12 months, by June 2023.
Late last month, the full Chicago City Council voted 41 to 7 to approve Bally's Corporation casino project — which defeated the other two finalists, Hard Rock and Rush Street Gaming— valued at $1.74 billion at the former Chicago Tribune’s Freedom Center printing plant in River West, but that land has yet to be developed. According to Mayor Lori Lightfoot's office, that's expected to take three years, with the projected opening date sometime in 2026. In the meantime, a proposed temporary casino site in River North at the Medinah Temple, 600 N. Wabash in the 42nd Ward, could be up and running by Q2 2023. Bally’s made its promised $40 million upfront payment to Chicago earlier this month with the signing of a host community agreement.