Bally’s Chicago given green light to move slot machines to Medinah Temple

June 22, 2023
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The historic site will serve as a temporary casino for up to three years.

Bally’s Chicago has installed 50 table games and 750 slot machines at Medinah Temple after gaining preliminary approval from the state of Illinois, according to a Chicago Tribune report.

The company had previously invested in repurposing another Chicago landmark space for Bally’s Chicago’s temporary home. Bally's Corporation completed a deal with a local real estate private equity firm to secure the 30-acre property that is currently home to Tribute Publishing Center. The investor acquired the land for $200m.

However, sources said the city preferred to use Medinah Temple site as a temporary casino option.

Medinah Temple is part of The River North building and is a Moorish-style amphitheater. Bally’s said it intends to convert the venue into a temporary casino that will reflect the more than 100-year history of the site.

Medinah Temple was built in 1912 by the Shriners. Since its opening, the venue has held concerts and graduations, as well as other larger events like the annual Shrine Circus. The city designated the building as a historic Chicago landmark in 2001.

Bally’s said Medinah Temple will function as a temporary casino during the next few years until construction on a permanent casino is completed. Pending Gaming Board approval, the temporary destination could open as early as August.

Bally’s Chicago said that, by the end of the week, it plans to have close to 1,000 gaming positions ready to go with all the equipment in place.

Bally’s said it anticipates opening a permanent Chicago casino by 2026. The new venue will be home to 4,000 gaming positions, as well as to an exhibition hall, 500-room hotel, a 3,000-seat theater and 10 restaurants.

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