Contact Us

Bally’s Unveils New ‘Neighborhood-Oriented’ Chicago Casino Design After Clearing Regulatory Hurdle

Bally’s Corp. has released new renderings and named a development team for its $1.7B casino and mixed-use entertainment complex on the heels of securing a formal nod to commence from the Chicago Department of Planning and Urban Development earlier this week.

New designs call for a more pared-down look.

Bally’s said in a release Friday it plans to begin construction in late 2024 now that it has cleared its last hurdle before seeking final approval from the Illinois Gaming Board to operate in Chicago.

The project, expected to bring 3,000 jobs to the city, will include a casino, food hall and restaurants, a theater and event space, a museum and exhibition area, and a 500-key hotel. The River West location will offer more than 10 acres of outdoor space, including a park for the community, which will allow for programming like art fairs and farmers markets.

A rendering of a drop-off porte cochere at Bally's Chicago

Bally’s Chicago will become the first ground-up gaming complex and resort located in the center of a major metropolitan city, Seeking Alpha reported. Designs for the facility have changed from earlier renderings, according to Block Club Chicago, with new plans calling for fewer windows, a boxier shape to the complex and an updated facade. The project was initially approved by the Chicago City Council nearly a year ago, as was a temporary casino at the vacant Medinah Temple, a former Bloomingdale’s store at 600 North Wabash Ave., until the larger project is complete in 2026. 

The aim of the alterations was to create a more “neighborhood-oriented entertainment complex that reflects the primary design goals of the City’s request for proposals,” a Department of Planning and Development spokesperson told Block Club Chicago.

A rendering of what Bally's Chicago is billing as South Park

“Inspired by the city's interplay — grit and grandeur, structure and the organic, historically-charged and cutting-edge — the design of Bally's Chicago creates a sense of wonder and adventure accessible to everyone,” Bally's Senior Vice President of Design and Development Joyen Vakil said in a statement. “The plan is uniquely focused on bringing in nature and wellness through the addition of numerous public plazas and parks.”

Bally’s also announced its full development team, a collection of Chicago-based and minority-owned businesses. SCB is the project’s master planner in collaboration with V3 Cos., Gensler and Site Design Group, while Gensler is the design architect and architect of record. 

“We are confident that this team will bring to life this one-of-a-kind urban space,” Vakil said. “The unique and exciting design celebrates Chicago's motto, urbs in horto — city in a garden — and creates a dynamic public realm on-site.”