Chicago Casino Could Open By September 9 According To State Regulators

Written By Nicholaus Garcia on August 24, 2023
Coming Soon Illustration in Red Letters with Bally's logo

The opening date of Chicago’s first casino is swiftly approaching. The Illinois Gaming Board (IGB) said it will inspect operations at the Bally’s temporary casino at the Medinah Temple on Sept. 5.

In doing so, the new Illinois casino could open by Sept. 9, according to a spokesperson from the IGB.

Chicago casino at Medinah Temple could open in two weeks

Chicago selected Bally’s Corporation as the winner of its coveted casino license in May 2022. The 130,000-square-foot temporary location will have 750 slot machines, 50 table games and several dining options. 

As previously reported, on Aug. 4, Bally’s Chairman Soo Kim said the company is in its testing phase:

“It’s done, all the machines are installed. We’re in testing and regulatory mode. We’re just waiting to get through the final process so we can share it with the city of Chicago.”

Once open, city officials hope to receive over $55 million in annual tax revenue from the temporary location and about $200 million from the permanent site. 

Bally’s permanent casino location is still a few years away

Bally’s is building its permanent $1.7 billion casino in River West, with construction expected to be complete in three years. 

The 30-acre site near the Chicago River was acquired from Nexstar Media for $200 million. Construction won’t begin until at least July 2024, with a potential opening date slated for 2026.

The Illinois casino is expected to come with several amenities, including:

  • 500-room hotel
  • Six restaurants and cafes
  • 3 bars and lounges
  • 3,000-seat riverwalk entertainment venue
  • 20,000 square feet of exhibition space
  • A sports museum
  • Outdoor/rooftop area with bars, lounges, and pools

In addition, the casino would include 3,400 slot machines and 173 table games.

Of the three finalists, which included Hard Rock and Rush Street Gaming, Bally’s revenue projections were the highest estimated total for Chicago. Of the three finalists, Bally’s was the only one to offer an upfront payment of $25 million

Photo by PlayUSA
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Nicholaus Garcia

Nick Garcia is a senior reporter for PlayUSA. Garcia provides analysis and in-depth coverage of the gambling industry with a key focus on online casinos, sports betting and financial markets. Garcia has been covering the US gambling market since 2017. He attended Texas Tech University as an undergrad and received a Master of Arts in Journalism from Columbia College Chicago.

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