Photo: Bally’s Corporation
Bally’s, Chicago’s first and only casino, will open this Saturday at its temporary River North location.
As The Chicago Defender reported on Wednesday, the casino at the historic Medinah Temple would open by this weekend, pending Illinois Gaming Board approval of Bally’s gaming sessions.
According to Bally’s, state gaming officials approved the casino’s opening after reviewing those rehearsal events, which occurred on September 6 and 7. Proceeds from the two-day rehearsal session will be presented to selected local charities during the official ribbon cutting planned for later this month.
“We would like to thank the Illinois Gaming Board for granting Bally’s the approval to begin welcoming public guests. Their confidence in our team’s ability to meet or exceed all regulatory requirements comes after months of extensive validation. It is an honor to present our guests with a first-class gaming experience and accomplish the goal of opening a casino within the city limits,” said Mark Wong, VP and General Manager, in a statement.
“We look forward to opening our doors and allowing patrons to enjoy every aspect of the latest entertainment destination in this beautiful city.”
Starting Saturday, September 9 at 8 a.m., residents and tourists will enjoy nearly 800 slot machines and 56 table games spread across three levels, including roulette, craps and baccarat. The facility will also feature two restaurants and one cafe, including Kitchen 888, an Asian fusion restaurant, the Medinah Bistro, a diner-style operation and the Wabash Café, which will offer quick-serve meals and specialty coffees.
Bally’s casino has a license to temporarily operate at the Moorish-style building for up to three years before transitioning to its permanent location at the Chicago Tribune Publishing Center site in River West.
That permanent facility will boast 3,400 slot machines, 170 table games, a 500-room hotel tower, a 3,000-seat theater, and an outdoor park and music venue. Officials project that the permanent casino could generate $200 million annually.
It is projected to open in 2026.
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