Bally’s Medinah Temple temporary casino opens

Medinah Temple
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Bally’s has celebrated the much-anticipated opening of its temporary casino location in Chicago

Located at Medinah Temple, a Moorish revival building in Chicago, the temporary venue will be the home of Bally’s casino gambling for the next three years whilst the $1.7bn permanent development is being built. 

Opening its doors at 8am on Saturday, the casino boasts around 800 slot machines and around 50 table games as well as a bar and cafe within the building, which has kept its original structure and architecture. 

Moreover, the location has a VIP and high roller section on the third floor alongside two separate restaurants for players to enjoy. 

Players began waiting in line at 6:30am to enter the casino ahead of the 8am opening time, displaying anticipation of the opening. 

The process of bringing a casino to Bally’s has been a long, sometimes arduous one, with a large political debate in the city. 

Bally’s earned its significant breakthrough in December 2022 when the Chicago City Council voted 39-5 in favor of amending Planned Development No. 1426, allowing the construction of the casino and hotel resort. 

Mayor Lori Lightfoot outlined that the introduction of the casino would help to stimulate economic growth in the city as well as fill gaps in pension funds lost as a result of economic headwinds in recent years. 

Now the temporary casino is open, Bally’s plans are shifting towards opening the permanent location, which is set to open in 2026.

Updating investors during its Q1 earnings call, Bally’s President George Papanier stated: “We look forward to the opening of the Chicago temporary casino in late summer 2023, which is on track and on budget. 

“We are also advancing the full build of our Bally’s Chicago permanent facility, which is slightly ahead of schedule and on budget for opening in the summer of 2026. There is significant consumer demand for this project, and we couldn’t be more excited to begin producing results.”