It’s like Field of Dreams, Chicago style. Bally’s is building it. They will come. And people will be needed to work at the largest Illinois casino — thousands of them.
Specifically, estimates say Bally’s $1.7 billion casino resort project will create 3,000 construction jobs and 3,000 permanent jobs. The company has begun to reach out to find people for positions as table game dealers and other casino personnel.
Bally’s plans to open the mega-casino in 2026 at the former Chicago Tribune printing plant site at Chicago Avenue and Halsted Street in River West. The spot will be home to a lavish casino with 3,400 slot machines, 170 table games, 10 food and beverage venues, a 500-room hotel tower with more to come.
Those slot machines, casino tables and hotel suites will need staff and Bally’s has maintained its commitment to employing a diverse mix of Illinois residents when Bally’s Chicago is ready.
Diversity hiring key for largest Illinois casino
Bringing in a diverse group of employees has been a point of emphasis by Chicago 27th District Alderman Walter Burnett Jr. where the casino will reside.
In December at a City Council committee meeting, Burnett Jr. promised to “raise a lot of hell” if he didn’t see written agreements Bally’s made with labor unions. At the time, Bally’s executives promised that 46% of all contracts would go to minority or woman-owned firms and that 60 percent would go to minorities.
Subsequently, Burnett backed down from his complaint saying he was satisfied with the Bally’s commitment to minority hiring.
In October Bally’s signed a multi-project Labor Agreement (PLA) with Chicago and Cook County Building & Construction Trades Council.
“We appreciate that Bally’s holds itself to a higher standard when it comes to employment,” said Bob Reiter, president of the Chicago Federation of Labor said in October. “Our mission is to strengthen the participation of underrepresented populations — with a special focus on engaging youth to consider the trades as a viable and inspiring career path — and Bally’s has proven to take that very seriously.”
Getting a job at Bally’s Chicago
To reach a diverse community, Bally’s recently announced it was holding information sessions. Further, at a number of Chicago colleges, potential workers can learn more about career opportunities and get registration information for upcoming classes.
These sessions are open to anyone aged 21 and up and are being held:
- Friday, Feb. 17: Harold Washington College, 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.
- Tuesday, Feb. 21: Malcolm X College, 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.
- Thursday, Feb. 23: Jesse White Community Center, 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.
- Saturday, Feb. 25: Bally’s Chicago Administrative Office. 9 a.m. and 12 p.m.
- Monday, Feb. 27: Harry S. Truman College, 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.
- Tuesday, Feb. 28: Olive-Harvey College, 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.
The latest on Bally’s Chicago
The process has begun to build the workforce for Bally’s Chicago. Meanwhile, the company has plans to open a temporary casino at Medinah Temple in River North.
The Illinois Gaming Board recently approved two supplier licenses for the companies. Specifically, the licenses are for owners of the building and the land it sits on.
Bally’s has not given a firm date for the opening of the temporary casino, but observers believe it will be ready by this summer.