Bally’s Chicago opened on September 9, 2023, inside the historic Medinah Temple in the River North neighborhood, drawing much excitement from the community. The temporary casino, which will help fund the construction of the permanent $1.7 billion Bally’s Chicago casino resort, saw more than 80,000 visitors and generated over $6.67 million in revenue during its initial 24 days of operation, featuring 800 slot machines, 56 live dealer table games, three full-service restaurants, and two bars.
In October, the hype surrounding the casino subsided, as it generated gross gaming revenue of over $7.6 million and welcomed 83,113 visitors during its 31 operating days, according to data from the Illinois Gaming Control Board (IGCB). The Medinah Temple, originally an ornate auditorium, was transformed into a retail complex in 2000, with Bally’s Chicago occupying the space until the permanent integrated casino resort is completed.
Construction on the permanent resort, located at the Freedom Center in the River West neighborhood, is set to begin next summer and is expected to take two years to complete. Additionally, Bally’s Corporation’s President George Papanier announced plans to increase revenue through marketing and promotional deployments, as well as extending the casino’s operating hours to 24/7.
The casino expects to generate over $50 million annually in adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, amortization, and restructuring or rent costs (EBITDAR). Bally’s Chicago has also been beneficial for the city, creating nearly $3.3 million in state and local tax revenue during its first 55 days in business, with Chicago receiving almost $1.5 million.
The transformation of the Medinah Temple into Bally’s Chicago has been a major success, with plans underway for the construction of a permanent integrated casino resort that is expected to significantly contribute to Chicago’s economy and entertainment sector.