Bally’s plans to file a license application for its Chicago casino later this month. The company is hoping to open a temporary casino next year, with the permanent building opening up in 2025.
There are still some hurdles to clear, but the Chicago casino project continues to make quick progress.
Bally’s casino application
Bally’s casino is well on its way to starting construction.
The project already received a thumbs up from the city last month.
Bally’s even cut a $40 million check to Chicago to show its commitment to the project. Mayor Lori Lightfoot was thrilled with the progress.
“This is the first down payment from the casino on the future of Chicago’s pensions and a clear indication of the City’s commitment to its hard-working public safety professionals. In the years to come, the Chicago Casino is projected to bring hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue to the City, with many of those revenues earmarked for pensions.”
With those first major steps out of the way, now the project needs to snag a casino license. The Illinois Gaming Board will review all the materials once Bally’s submits its application.
If things work out for the company, then that application could be on the books by the end of the month.
Assuming that the gaming board issues Bally’s a license after its application, that will kick off a fast-paced construction timeline for the temporary casino.
Temporary casino timeline
It will be years before Bally’s Chicago casino is ready to open in River West. That doesn’t leave gamblers many betting options in the city during construction.
The company’s temporary casino will solve that problem.
The building will feature 800 table games and slot machines to service Chicago while the main building is under construction.
Chicago’s temporary casino plans to open on Wabash Avenue next year, but that might be an ambitious timeline for the project.
It all comes down to how long it takes Bally’s to secure its casino license.
When Hard Rock applied for its Rockford casino back in 2019, it took until February 2021 for the gaming board to give things the green light.
That type of delay would decimate the current Bally’s timeline. However, Chicago’s process is more of a priority, and likely won’t take as long to pass through that final hoop.
Regardless of if and when Bally’s receives a license, the company estimates that it will need about 12 months to build its temporary casino.
Things will finally get moving once Bally’s officially submits its application. At this rate, the gaming board should have the paperwork in hand before July.