Bally’s Signs Deal With Organized Labor To Build Chicago Casino

Written By Dave Briggs on October 17, 2022
Bally's Chicago has signed a labor deal with the Chicago & Cook County Building & Construction Trades Council and the AFL-CIO.

Organized labor will be instrumental in constructing the largest Illinois casino.

That’s the word today from Bally’s, which is building a $1.7 billion destination casino in Chicago.

The casino company announced via press release that it has signed a, “Multi-Project Labor Agreement with the Chicago & Cook County Building & Construction Trades Council and the AFL-CIO Building and Construction Trades Department.”

“At Bally’s, we believe our company should reflect the community. This PLA is a demonstration of our commitment to embrace organized labor that has played such a key role in building the great city of Chicago,” said Bally’s chairman Soo Kim. “This is the first step of a project that will be built by Chicago, for Chicago, and help the city keep its promises to the police and fire pensions.

“We are also committed to inclusivity and our partnerships with the CCBT, Chicago Federation of Labor, and Hire360 will ensure our workforce will reflect the rich diversity of the city.”

Labor groups applaud the move

Chicago & Cook County Building & Construction Trades Council president Michael Macellaio said his organization is, “proud to stand with Bally’s Chicago in this historic building of the first and only casino in the City of Chicago. With this agreement, Bally’s shows that it understands the importance of good-paying jobs in our city and the dignity of our hard-working people.”

And Bob Reiter, president of the Chicago Federation of Labor said, “We appreciate that Bally’s holds itself to a higher standard when it comes to employment. Our mission is to strengthen the participation of underrepresented populations — with a special focus on engaging youth to consider the trades as a viable and inspiring career path — and Bally’s has proven to take that very seriously.”

Deal to buy the land expected any day now

Last week, we reported that Bally’s is expected to close the deal soon on the purchase of the Freedom Center printing plant in River West. The 30-acre site will be the location of the new casino. The deal must be finalized by Oct. 25.

The printing plant is located at Chicago Avenue and Halsted Street. And that would put the casino within walking distance of popular stops along Michigan Avenue.

Further, the casino will showcase “The Best of Chicago” arts and culture, food and sports, and curated dining and entertainment experiences. And, it will also feature:

  • 3,400 slots
  • 173 table games
  • 10 food and beverage venues
  • a hotel tower with up to 500 rooms and a rooftop bar
  • an outdoor music space capable of hosting 1,000 guests
  • plus a 3,000-seat, 70,000-square-foot indoor entertainment center
  • and an outdoor green space.

Temporary casino expected in June of 2023

Though, Bally’s Chicago won’t be ready until at least 2026. While building the main casino, Bally’s will open a temporary casino in the century-old Medinah Temple. The temporary facility will open by June of 2023.

Photo by Shutterstock
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Dave Briggs

Dave Briggs is a managing editor and writer for Catena Media. His expertise is covering the gambling industry in North America with an emphasis on the casino, sports betting, horse racing and poker sectors. He is currently reporting on the gaming industries in Illinois and Canada.

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