On Thursday, Bally’s said its temporary casino at Medinah Temple in Chicago will open doors this September. The announcement came during the company’s second-quarter earnings call after the company pushed back the date for opening its temporary gambling venue several times. During the call, Marcus Glover, Bally’s Chief Financial Officer, confirmed that the opening of the company’s temporary gambling venue was several weeks later than the initially announced target date.
This June, the Illinois Gaming Board approved Bally’s temporary casino project. The company started installing 750 slot machines and 50 gaming tables at Medinah Temple immediately after the gambling regulator gave a green light to Bally’s plans to open a non-permanent casino while working on its permanent gambling establishment at the site of the former Chicago Tribune Publishing Center.
At that time, the company revealed its expectations to have approximately 1,000 gaming positions by the end of the month. Bally’s executives hoped they would open the temporary casino by August following a successful test run of gaming operations approved by the Illinois gambling watchdog. But in July, the company announced that its temporary gambling venue would not open until end of August.
Yesterday, Bally’s Chairman Soo Kim told reporters from the Tribune that the company’s temporary gambling venue is finally ready to open, with all gambling machines already installed. He explained that the casino is in a testing and regulatory mode, and once it goes through the final process, Bally’s will officially announce when exactly the casino will open.
Bally’s Had to Push Back Its Temporary Casino’s Opening Date Several Times
In May, Bally’s put a sign on the Medinah Temple, looking to hire over 700 people for its temporary casino. Bally’s pushed back the opening day of the temporary casino several times. But every day in which the casino does not operate costs Bally’s and the city of Chicago a lot of money. Former Lori Lightfoot hoped the temporary gambling venue would start generating money for the city’s depleted police and firefighter pension funds by the end of June. City officials expect the non-permanent gambling venue to generate $55 million annually for the state.
Last year Bally’s emerged as the successful bidder to develop a $1.74 billion casino project on the Chicago Tribune Publishing Center in River West. The company paid Nexstar Media $200 million to acquire the site. This May, the company offered $150 million to Tribune Publishing to leave the site before July 5, 2024.
After the Rhode Island-based operator reached an agreement with the press, it announced that construction of its permanent casino will begin in 2024. Bally’s expects to open its permanent casino somewhere in 2026. Meanwhile, casino fans from Chicago can visit Bally’s temporary gambling establishment at the Medinah Temple, which will open this September.