Bally’s Makes Strong Pitch For Chicago Casino At River West Location
- Bally’s is one of the three operators in the race to win a Chicago casino license
- The operator made a strong pitch at its River West site this week
- Chicago Mayor Lightfoot will pick a final bidder this summer
When Bally’s published its proposal for a casino near downtown Chicago, among the concerns raised by residents was the possibility of heavy traffic. These concerns were addressed by the company earlier this week, when the operator made its pitch for its Tribune casino at River West.
Chicago casino bids narrowed down to just three by late March, with Bally’s among the finalists. The company is planning to build a casino at the site of the Chicago Tribune printing plant at River West.
Hard Rock and Rush Street also made it to the final shortlist of bidders approved by Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot to present their proposals to local residents. The meetings kicked off on Tuesday with Hard Rock discussing its plans for a casino at One Central.
Bally’s was next, making its pitch during a meeting with residents which was held on Wednesday at the Tribune Publishing Plant. The company’s chairman Soo Kim outlined how they plan to alleviate traffic in the area should their casino proposal gets the nod.
Bally’s Highlights Proposal’s Traffic Flexibility
Kim said their proposal is the most flexible in terms of moving the traffic around the 30-acre site. He added that Bally’s casino would only occupy less than 10 acres of the lot and the remaining 20 acres will be developed to create the most conducive environment for the community.
The area around River West is already experiencing heavy traffic, particularly at the Halsted Avenue and Chicago Avenue intersections, considering its close proximity to downtown proper. A casino would inevitably worsen the traffic situation in the area, but Bally’s is proposing changes to the traffic signals at certain intersections to resolve the problem.
In terms of job creation and local investment, Bally’s proposal will generate approximately 9,000 jobs for the construction of both the temporary and permanent casinos, while a further 2,000 workers will be hired when the casino starts operating.
Kim also said the company is committed to achieving its target of 25% minority ownership, and it is also keen on establishing a crowdfunding system that will allow people to purchase stocks for as low as $250, a move that will promote generational wealth.
Mayor Lightfoot will choose which among the three should operate a US casino in downtown Chicago. The decision is expected to be announced this summer.