City of Chicago Announces Candidates for Sole Casino License

By: Ashmar Mandou

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - BusinessCity of Chicago announced the three bidders to move on to the next phase the bidding process for the city’s sole casino license. Following extensive evaluations, Bally’s Corporation at the Tribune Site, Hard Rock at the ONE Central Site, and Rivers 78 at the 78 site have been named finalists to develop a casino-resort and entertainment experience in Chicago. From this group, the City will choose a final proposal to submit as the developer and operator of the Chicago casino for approval by City Council.  “We are pleased to see the progress toward adding yet another experience with the development of an integrated casino resort,” said Jim Meyer, Interim President, Choose Chicago. “This project will build upon the rich diversity of experiences, from arts and culture, to sports and entertainment that can only be found in Chicago.”  

Bally’s Tribune Site: Bally’s Corporation has proposed a $1.74 billion casino project and hotel on a portion of the current Tribune Publishing Plant. The proposal includes a 3,000-seat theater; an Immerse Agency exhibition experience, a sports museum; an extension of the Riverwalk; a pedestrian bridge; a 500-key hotel tower; an outdoor park; an outdoor music venue; an amenity terrace featuring a large pool spa, fitness center and sun deck; and six restaurants, cafes, and a food hall. The casino will offer space for 3,400 slots and 173 table games.

Hard Rock – ONE Central Site:  The HR Chicago, LLC (“Hard Rock”) proposal includes the development of a $1.74 billion casino project on a portion of the site known as ONE Central. ONE Central is a large, proposed development north of the MPEA convention center on the lakefront.  This proposal includes a 3,500-seat Hard Rock Live venue; a Hard Rock Music and Entertainment experience; a 500-room hotel tower; a “Rock” spa; rooftop space; outdoor green space; several restaurants, cafes, and a food hall; and six bars and lounges.

Rivers – 78: The Rivers 78 proposal includes the development of a $1.62 billion casino project on a portion of the site known as “The 78.”   The 78 is a large development on the near south side of the City.  The proposal a riverfront plaza; an observation tower with indoor and outdoor space; a Harbor Hall multi-purpose riverfront venue for live entertainment, culture, arts and community programs with rooftop space; a 300-room hotel tower; and eight restaurants, cafes, a food hall, five bars and lounges. The casino includes space for 2,600 slots and 190 table games. The bidder has projected the development will add 3,410 to 4,375 construction jobs and 3,068 permanent casino jobs.

“Attracting a world-class casino worthy of a world-class city like Chicago is a win,” said Sam Toia, President and CEO, Illinois Restaurant Association. “A casino is a natural complement to our city’s sports teams, museums, Convention Center, and dynamic culinary scene. It translates to more diners in seats and guests in beds, which mean stronger revenues and a brighter future for our restaurants.”  

Each finalist and the City will participate in a community engagement meeting, offering the opportunity for public questions and comments. These meetings will take place April 5-7 from 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. CT and will be livestreamed. In-person priority will be given to residents in the zip code, and then on a first-come first-serve basis capped at 300 attendees.  

April 5: Hard Rock
Harold Washington Library 
400 S. State Street 

April 6: Bally’s Tribune 
Tribune Publishing Plant 
700 W. Chicago 

April 7: Rivers 78 
Isadore and Sadie Dorin Forum 
725 W. Roosevelt Road 

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Business

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Business

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