Casino operators have started their second round of meetings with the public as they hope to get Chicago's only casino license. Bally's Corporation presented its construction plan to set up a gaming site in the Chicago Tribune Publishing area.
A Bally's Casino in Chicago Would Have Many Benefits
Bally's wants to convert the concrete location to a greenspace. This element makes it stand out from two other finalists in the bid for the Chicago casino license.
The casino's plan includes:
- A 3,000-seat theater
- Bars and restaurants
- Outdoor park
- Chicago sports hall of fame
- Outdoor music venue
The casino plans to invest heavily in gaming as it will offer 173 table games and run 3,400 slot machines. It estimates that the entire project will cost $1.74 billion. But, it doesn't mention the Illinois online casino gaming sector, just like the other two project proposals.
In Bally's last two-hour meeting, it stated that it hasn't set anything in stone yet. Soo Kim, its chairman, said that it will modify its plan according to the feedback that it will get from the local community.
Kim stated that the company has a flexible casino site, and it can use it in a manner that it won't irk the residents. Also, it is ready to collaborate with Second City and local restaurants to develop an amazing entertainment venue.
The gaming company said that if it is chosen, it will launch a temporary casino in the 2023 summer and a permanent casino in Q1 of 2026.
The Company Is Still Facing Opposition
The River North Neighbors's Association (RNNA) is firmly opposing the casino's construction in the area. It states that it will adversely affect the region.
RNNA read a letter in the stakeholders' meeting which stated that the project will affect the public safety, quality of life, and traffic for over a thousand residents. One resident stated that the casino isn't suitable for a neighborhood as offices and residential build neighborhoods, but casinos cannot build them.
Jonathan Solomon, another resident who is a condo association representative, added that he doesn't trust the traffic studies that Bally's presented. But Bally's predicts that the casino will minimize traffic in the morning rush hours by 60 percent. Solomon said that allowing the city to have a casino with hundreds of players will greatly increase traffic in the area.
The Casino's Potential Revenue for the City
Chicago analysts forecast that the new casino will rake in $191.7 million in revenue after operating for six years. This is the city's highest estimated total among the three construction proposals.
Even so, it needs to allow Bally's to construct a 500-room hotel since it will only generate $176.9 million if it builds a 100-room hotel. Hard Rock One Central predicted last Tuesday that the casino will generate $185 million in tax revenue in six years.
Bally's Is an International Discussion
Bally's is eyeing other gaming locations besides Chicago. It announced on March 31 that it wants to construct an integrated resort in Fukuoka, Japan. Osaka, Wakayama, and Nagasaki have a large number of casinos in the country.