The Illinois Gaming Board (IGB) recently revealed that Bally’s Corporation’s temporary casino in Medinah Temple raked in $7.6 million in November in adjusted gross revenue (AGR). This was almost the same amount it generated in October. Still, it is likely to earn Illinois local tax revenue less than $12 million this year.
The gaming operator stated that its gaming property earned $8.9 million in gross gaming revenue in November. It launched the site in November and will continue running it until the fall of 2026 when it will complete its $1.7 billion permanent casino project near River West on the Tribune Publishing Plant land.
Bally’s Corporation was among the 15 local casinos that earned AGR totaling $130.4 million last month. Rivers Casino generated $43.5 million and was the leading operator.
The temporary Medinah Temple casino made $21.9 million in AGR and slots generated $13.4 million since its launch. Yet, it paid taxes in local receipts amounting to $2.2 million and $2.8 million in state taxes. Lori Lightfoot, Chicago’s previous mayor predicted that the city would receive $50 million annually and $12.8 million monthly in gaming tax revenue once Bally’s casino starts operating.
The Medinah Temple Casino Made More Admissions
Bally’s was the third-highest table games revenue generator in the state in November. It earned almost $3 million while the Grand Victoria Casino beat it by $300,000. The Medinah Temple venue made over 86,000 admissions, which was four percent higher than its October admissions, hence helping Bally’s defeat Grand Victoria.
The temporary casino earned $88 in AGR from each admission, a significant drop from the $91.55 per admission it got in October. However, it had an average revenue of $87.62 and has made 250,000 admissions in total so far. The venue is second after Rivers in that category.
Crain’s Chicago Business reported that downtown Chicago’s casino sector is thriving. But the Chicago Inspector General and the U.S. Attorney’s Office are investigating how the IGB chose Bally’s to be its preferred casino operator for the city’s downtown area in May 2022.
The report states that losing license bidders initiated the federal inquiry including Hard Rock and Rush Street Gaming. It was discovered that Rush Street parted with $300,000 for its two casino proposals while Bally’s paid $300,000 only for the proposals.
The Inquiry’s Findings
Chicago City’s consultant is accused of failing to rate the license bidders’ financial capability. Yet, it previously increased Bally’s fee and Chicago signed off its temporary casino even though Alden Capital hadn’t sold the land to the gaming company before May.
Yet, Bally’s got a one-year extension to run its Medinah Temple temporary casino in October. However, it might not kick off its permanent casino construction at River West before July 2024.
Rush Street Gaming operates Rivers 78 and was amongst the top contenders for the casino license. However, Lightfoot rejected its proposal despite paying a huge fee.