Bally’s just released new details about its plan to convert Medinah Temple into a temporary Chicago casino.
The company hopes to start construction on its permanent casino in River North soon, but that building won’t be open for business until 2025 at the earliest. Medinah Temple will keep gamblers occupied in the meantime.
Temporary Chicago casino
If everything goes according to plan, the temporary Chicago casino will start taking wagers in June 2023. The building can stay in operation for up to three years.
Medinah Temple needs some renovations in order to properly house a casino. That’s led to some concerns from residents since the historic building is a designated Chicago landmark.
Bally’s claims that the original 1912 architecture will be maintained during the renovations. That includes the copper domes, stained glass windows and third-floor ceiling.
Luis Collado of STL Architects, the Chicago firm that’s working with Bally’s, says that the construction will add extra protections for the historic building.
“We are allowing the beauty of the window and the light to go through it, but we are creating that space in between so you cannot actually touch the window. We want to both protect the window but at the same time we want to take advantage of its beauty.”
If you’re not familiar with Medinah Temple’s location, you can find the building at 600 N. Wabash Ave.
The Chicago Landmark Commission Review Committee has to approve the temporary casino plans before construction can begin. That review process will start on Aug. 4.
Bally’s casino project
Building at Medinah Temple is only the first step in the $1.7 billion Chicago casino plans.
The city has already given Bally’s the green light for its River North casino, but the Illinois Gaming Board still needs to issue the company a license.
In other words, both the temporary and permanent Chicago casinos are still waiting for the final thumbs up from officials.
Bally’s filed its paperwork for the main building in June, so that approval come end up coming sooner rather than later for the company.
Once it has officially jumped through that last set of hoops, Bally’s will be able to really get the ball rolling for the two projects.
Bringing a casino to downtown Chicago is no easy feat. The project has its doubters because of the degree of difficulty.
Regardless, the project will be moving forward soon. Assuming that things go off without a hitch, Chicago will have a new temporary casino open for business next year. The main casino plans to open its doors in 2025.