Illinois’ gaming scene continues to evolve, with a new Chicago casino on the horizon and the state’s online sports betting market continuing to mature.
The City of Chicago has selected the owner of Bally Bet as the winner of the Windy City’s only casino license.
Bally’s Corp. announced Thursday that it had been selected by the City of Chicago as the preferred bidder for a $1.7 billion casino resort in the city’s downtown area.
The Rhode Island-based casino and online sportsbook said Bally’s Chicago will offer a variety of amenities, including a 500-room hotel with a rooftop bar, a 65,000-square-foot entertainment center, an outdoor music venue and Green spaces highlighting a public river promenade and a water taxi stop. The casino will feature 3,400 slot machines, 170 gaming tables and several restaurants and bars.
Bally’s Chicago will be built on the 30-acre Chicago Tribune Publishing Center at Chicago Avenue and Halstead Street. The project is expected to generate more than $800 million in gaming revenue annually and create 3,000 construction jobs and 3,000 permanent positions once the facility is complete.
“We would like to thank Mayor Lightfoot and her office for conducting a tough but fair bidding process and selecting Bally’s Chicago as the preferred bidder for the city’s casino,” said Soo Kim, Bally chairman, in a press release. “Our vision is that Bally Chicago will be by the people, by the people and for the people of Chicago.”
Thursday’s announcement puts Bally’s in line to occupy some prime gaming properties. The company owns and operates 14 casinos across the United States and has access to online sports betting licenses in 18 different markets.
Additionally, Thursday’s news means that Bally is poised to increase its presence in Illinois sports betting and casino gaming. The company last year acquired Rock Island-based Jumer’s Casino & Hotel, which Bally’s says gave it the opportunity to take advantage of several legal sports betting opportunities.
Bally’s has a sports betting license in Illinois through last year’s acquisition. However, Chicago Casino could offer even more sports betting related opportunities.
“From cheering and placing bets on their favorite home teams in our prominently appointed Bally’s Sports Bar to exploring Chicago’s sports history in our museum with exhibits inspired by Chicago teams, Bally’s Chicago will reflect the city’s passion for sports of all kinds.” the project’s website says.
This $1.7 billion casino and entertainment complex will feature:
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…and so much more! pic.twitter.com/ieaDcPfmYk
— Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot (@chicagosmayor) May 5, 2022
Thursday was an overall big day in the Land of Lincoln as Caesars Entertainment and the Chicago White Sox also announced an agreement to make Caesars the exclusive casino partner and official sportsbook partner of the city’s South Side MLB team.
The deal gives Caesars access to official White Sox logos, LED signage, social media and digital resources, and exclusive White Sox experiences through its loyalty program.
Caesars Entertainment and Caesars Sportsbook are featured in the team’s marketing programs and merchandise, and offer promotions to fans through the Caesars mobile sportsbook app.
A top class market
The Illinois mobile sports betting industry continues to establish itself as one of the top players in the nation.
While the official numbers for March and April have not yet been released by the Illinois Gaming Board, the state has already proven to be the premier mobile sports betting location in the United States.
Sports betting in the state of Prairie brought in over $867 million and $679 million in bets in January and February, respectively, and nearly $300 million from the March Madness tournament alone.
There are currently seven mobile sportsbooks operating in the state: DraftKings, PointsBet, FanDuel, BetRivers, Barstool Sportsbook, Caesars and BetMGM, with more expected to be added in 2022.
Illinois also lifted its ban on remote registration for bettors on March 5, removing a significant barrier to entry.
“Caesars is able to provide White Sox fans and sports fans across the state with the best sports experiences through our world-class resorts and the recent relaunch of the Caesars Sportsbook app, now available for mobile registration,” said Tom Reeg, CEO of Caesars Entertainment , in a press release.