Chicago opts for Bally’s $1.7bn proposal as preferred casino bidder


Bally’s has beaten off competition from Hard Rock and Rush Street Gaming to become the preferred bidder following Chicago’s request for proposal process to construct and operate a casino resort in the city.

The operator, which reaffirms that its proposal “provides the most economic value,” includes an upfront payment of $40m and annual payments to the City totaling $4m.

Furthermore, the project is expected to generate in excess of $800m per year, as well as creating 3,000 annual construction jobs and 3,000 permanent jobs upon completion.

Bally’s Chicago is also “committed to leveraging the diverse capabilities of its Chicago-based partners,” and is also offering a Community Investment Program, which reserves 25 per cent of the equity in the property with matched financing in a bid to allow hundreds of local and underrepresented communities of investors to own a piece.

Soo Kim, Chair of the Bally’s Board of Directors, explain: “We would like to thank Mayor Lightfoot and her office for conducting a tough, but fair, RFP process, and for selecting Bally’s Chicago as the preferred bidder for the city’s casino. Our vision is that Bally’s Chicago will be of the people, by the people, and for the people of Chicago. 

“Chicago is a unique and vibrant city, deserving of a world-class gaming and entertainment destination that drives the local economy, supports local labour, creates multigenerational wealth for minority investors, and showcases the best of what the City has to offer. 

“We look forward to continuing to work collaboratively with the city council and various city departments, the CFL, the Illinois Gaming Board, and all of our valued community partners on this exciting endeavour.”

The $1.7bn casino, entertainment and hotel offering that intends to showcase ‘The Best of Chicago, will offer 3,400 slots and 170 table games, with the wider space including a 3,000-seat theatre; exhibition experience, sports museum; Riverwalk extension with a water taxi stop.; 500-key hotel tower; outdoor park; outdoor music venue; amenity terrace featuring a large pool spa, fitness centre and sun deck; and six restaurants, cafes, and food hall.