Bally’s questioned on process to secure Chicago casino license

December 4, 2023

Sources say an investigation is underway by the US Attorney's Office and the Chicago Inspector General.

Complaints from unsuccessful bidders involved in gaining Chicago casino licensing have led to an alleged investigation into how Bally’s obtained the license, according to Crain’s Chicago and TheRealDeal local reports. Both the US Attorney’s Office and the Chicago Inspector General Deborah Witzburg are said to be looking into the process Bally’s used to gain casino licensing.

Neither group has responded to local news requests for comment.

Bally’s won approval from the City Council by a vote to 39 to 5, despite previous controversy regarding permission “to alter the terms of its financial deal with minority investors after inserting a clause that could buy out minority shares at a non-negotiated price post-casino opening.”

The company told local news it “is not aware of any investigation.”

Bally’s recently opened its temporary casino in downtown Chicago. The temporary Chicago casino at Medinah Temple welcomed its first guests on September 9 and brought in $7.6m in October revenue.

Bally’s said it anticipates opening the 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.

In other company news, investor group Osage River Gaming and Convention (ORGC) recently announced a partnership with Bally’s.

The group also revealed the location of its latest riverboat casino project, which will be at Eagles’ Landing along Missouri’s Osage River, pending approval by the Missouri Gaming Commission.

Osage River Gaming and Convention is presently advocating for a proposed state constitutional change that will give voters a chance to say yes on the ballot to a casino along the river.


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