Bally’s Delays the Debut of Chicago Temporary Casino
Bally’s has pushed the date of the debut of the Chicago temporary casino again. The casino operator told investors and analysts it planned to open the casino in September.
Headquartered in Rhode Island, Bally’s got the green light to build a temporary casino at Medina Temple in June. With the approval from the Illinois Gaming Board, most analysts speculated that the casino operator would open its property in July or August.
Bally’s announced the new date in conjunction with its earnings report. The casino operator made over $605 million during the second quarter of 2023. It also recorded an 11 percent year-on-year growth.
During a conference call with analysts, Bally’s CFO said that his company had failed to launch operations at Medinah Temple, as communicated earlier. Yet, it is only a one-month delay.
The Medinah Temple has been home to several uses. It was built 111 years ago but has been idle since 2020. The temple sits at 600 North Wabash Avenue and will be home to Bally’s temporary casino until the permanent building is constructed.
The Temporary Casino Is Almost Ready
There is no significant reason why Bally’s has delayed the debut of the Medina Temple temporary casino. But, the operator will not skip any requirement to open early.
The operator has already installed gaming machines and testing of wagering operations. Bally’s has to present the results to the city before it opens the casino.
The Illinois casino is a special project. It is the most expensive project of Bally’s. The $1.7 billion project starts with a temporary casino at Medinah Temple, followed by a permanent casino resort, expected to open by 2026. According to analysts, having a casino in the third-largest city catalyzes a firm’s shares and the company itself.
Macquarie analyst Chad Beynon told clients he believed the EBITDAR growth would continue beyond 2024E. The analyst said the growth will be more significant when BALY opens its $1.7 billion project in Chicago CBD in June 2026. Chad assigned $1 of valuation and said it could go as high as $7 if the Illinois casino project succeeds.
Chicago and Bally’s Need the Plan to Succeed
It is evident Bally’s would want its most expensive project to succeed. But, Chicago will wish the same too.
Chicago needs money. This will motivate both the city and Bally’s to soon open temporary and permanent casinos.
One of the reasons Illinois policymakers approved Chicago casino plans was the ballooning obligations to pay public pensions. Ideally, Windy City will get some of the money the temporary casino will generate. The Crain’s Chicago Business reported that the money would reduce pension debt.
The casino-hotel will also create jobs, income, and revenue taxes. For instance, Bally’s has to pay $70 million. The operator has already paid $40 million, which went to the underfunded police and fire pension programs.
Bally’s is projected to generate $15 million to $25 million between its launch and December. According to Glover, Bally’s might generate around $3.5 million to $5 million monthly until December 2023. When the temporary casino opens, these earnings might climb to between $50 million and $60 million yearly.