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Bally’s bids for land-based casino resort license in Chicago


Bally’s Corporation has submitted a proposal to develop and operate a new $1.6bn land-based casino resort in Chicago, Illinois.

The operator said that the Bally’s Chicago venue, which would include a casino, hotel and entertainment facilities, would serve as its new flagship property.

The bid sets out that the venue would be built in two phases, the first of which would see $1.0bn spent on a casino featuring 2,700 slot machines and 95 table games, as well as an all-suite luxury hotel, an outdoor music venue, green space and dining options.

Upon achieving an expected investment return threshold on phase one, a further $600m would be spent to add up to 4,000 total gaming positions, a 400-room hotel tower with a rooftop pool and bar, an amenity terrace, a 3,000-seat indoor entertainment venue, a 20,000sq ft exhibition space and an expanded food and beverage program.

Bally’s has proposed two potential sites for the proposed development; the Chicago Tribune Publishing Center, located on the corner of Chicago Avenue and Halsted Street, and the McCormick Place Truck Marshaling Yard.

The city of Chicago in April issued its Request for Proposals regarding the building and running of an integrated casino resort within the city. This included a number of set measures bidders would need to adhere to in their proposals.

One such request was that a temporary facility operate while the permanent facility is being developed, Bally said it intends to operate a temporary venue adjacent to the Chicago Tribune Publishing Center site, introducing visitors to the Bally’s Chicago brand and serve as a precursor to the permanent facility.

Bally’s also said it intends to leverage the airport visitation by utilizing a portion of the available 4,000 gaming positions allocated to the project and will work with the City to right-size the number of positions to be placed at O’Hare and Midway airports.

Bally’s Chicago’s minority investors, which will have a 25% ownership stake in the project, will include philanthropists, business owners, sports stars, celebrities, and local Chicago residents.

“Chicago is a dynamic, world-class city, which is why we are committing to make a $1.6bn investment in establishing Bally’s Chicago as our flagship, and the only property in its class in the Chicagoland market,” Bally’s chairman Soo Kim said.

“This property will be built, owned, and operated by Chicagoans, with a focus on minority and women investors, contractors, suppliers, consultants, and employees. It will generate tax revenue, create good-paying jobs, and attract international, national, and local visitors for generations to come.”

Bally’s director and Chicago native Wanda Wilson added: “From design and build to operations and ownership, Bally’s Chicago is committed to providing meaningful leadership roles, well-paying jobs, and investment opportunities for all Chicagoans.

“I have spent my career in gaming and am proud to be a director and investor in Bally’s. Its commitment to innovation, culture and diverse ownership makes it a leader in the industry. Everyone knows the Bally name, and that global recognition will attract visitors to Bally’s Chicago.”

The bid comes after Bally’s in June completed its acquisition of Jumer’s Casino & Hotel in Illinois from Delaware North Companies Gaming & Entertainment for $120m.