Bally’s Chicago Casino Offering Ownership Stake To Minority Residents

Written By C.J. Pierre on May 10, 2023
Bally's Chicago

Chicago residents are patiently awaiting the launch of the new Bally’s casino. But now there is talk of folks being offered an ownership slice in what will be the largest casino in Illinois.

It is an interesting concept. The company says it is discussing the terms of the potential offer. The goal is to help the requirements for ownership by minorities with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

How Chicagoans could get a piece of largest casino in Illinois

Chicago’s residents will be able to buy a stake in the casino’s ownership, according to the Host Community Agreement signed between the city and Bally’s Chicago. The agreement specifies that minorities or minority-owned and controlled businesses must hold at least 25% of the project’s equity.

On the Chicago project’s website, Bally’s says, “Minority investors will own 25% of the project, and include philanthropists, business owners, sports stars, celebrities and everyday Chicagoans from the Black and Latino communities, as well as other ethnic and gender representation.”

Unknown are additional details such as:

  • price range
  • the number of interests
  • the terms under of the deal
  • whether shares will be sold to non-minorities

The initial public offering will reveal the details. The IPO will happen after the review process is complete.

Bally’s temporary casino launch facing time crunch

Meanwhile, the clock is ticking on Bally’s plans for a temporary casino at the Medinah Temple in the River North section of Chicago. The gaming company hoped to have the temporary venue up and running by the end of the second quarter, which ends on June 30.

However, there’s still no word on whether the Illinois Gaming Board will sign off on Bally’s opening the location. The IGB did not address the matter during its most recent meeting. The board will not meet in May. Barring a special meeting, the earliest Bally’s could get the green light is at the board’s scheduled June 15 session.

The timeline gets questionable if the board doesn’t handle the situation at the June meeting. That is because the IGB’s next meeting won’t be until July 27. After that, the board meets just three times before the end of the year.

Board spokeswoman Beth Kaufman says that construction is continuing to move forward at the Medinah Temple location. She added IGB is continuing to work with Bally’s on its application. She says the board cannot speak to, or speculate about, the timeline for the casino’s potential opening other than that Bally’s must meet IGB regulatory and statutory requirements before any gaming operations can begin.

The temporary venue will be a prelude to a $1.74 billion permanent casino hotel. But hundreds of potential workers are eagerly awaiting clarification on when the facility will open up.

Over 700 jobs posted for Bally’s Temporary Medinah Temple Casino

The timeline for the temporary casino is a bit murky. However, Bally’s is moving full steam ahead to ensure the venue has a full workforce when it eventually opens.

Bally’s has announced it is hiring over 700 workers to help staff the temporary facility. The casino is hiring everything from card dealers and security to housekeeping and marketing staff. You can find a complete list of open positions on the Bally’s Chicago website.

Bally’s is currently renovating the Medinah Temple. It will be the temporary Chicago casino for up to three years while the permanent facility is built. The casino will occupy three floors at Medinah. It will feature more than 800 gaming positions, including slots, table games, three restaurants and a bar.

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C.J. Pierre

C.J. Pierre is a Lead Writer at Play Illinois. He has been covering news and sports for over a decade for both online and TV broadcasts. He was born and raised in Minneapolis, MN and is an alum of Minnesota State University: Moorhead. He recently dove into tribal casino and online gambling news. He also covered the launch of sports betting in Arizona. C.J. has experience as a reporter and videographer and has covered high school, college and professional sports throughout his career, most notably following Arizona Cardinals, Phoenix Suns, Minnesota Vikings and North Dakota State University football.

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