Proposed Bally's Chicago CasinoSummary

  • Traffic is already an issue near the Tribune printing plant.
  • Most residents complained about potential traffic problems, property value, and noise lighting.
  • Bally’s tries to pull residents in with 30 infrastructure improvements.

Yesterday, executives of Bally’s Corporation attended a meeting in Chicago in an attempt to gain support for its casino proposal. The company would like to create a venue within the Chicago Tribune printing plant but are being met with opposition. Residents are fearful that the casino will create more of a traffic issue in an area where traffic problems already exist.

Traffic Problem Already in Place

The Bally’s casino would be located near Halsted Street and Chicago Avenue, on a 30-acre plot. The areas is already home to traffic issues daily, and potential neighbors feel that adding a casino will only bring more driving headaches.

To give you an idea of how bad traffic is in the area, the city had to issue an alert hours before the meeting involving the casino took place due to traffic concerns. It was expected that as many as 300 people would attend the meeting at the warehouse on the proposed casino site.

As the meeting began, residents started to speak out in opposition of the plan. Basically, everyone feels that the casino will take away from the neighborhood, adding traffic problems, straining the current infrastructure, and creating a decrease in property value.

Traffic Won’t Be an Issue says Bally

Soo Kim, the chairman for Bally’s, tried to point out the positives of the project during the meeting. Kim pointed out that the $1.7 billion plan will cut down on traffic issues. The budget of the project includes millions being spent on infrastructure improvements in the area. Halsted will be resurfaced, and new signals will go in, including traffic and pedestrian options.

Kim said the project is complementary to the issues that are already in the area. City officials showed support by claiming that a report was conducted, and it showed that the plan by Bally’s should result in less traffic in the weekday mornings with similar traffic in the evenings. An increase in traffic is expected on the weekends as business would increase for the Illinois casino.

If selected, Bally’s plans to give $25 million up front which the city can use to its benefit. Over time, the Bally’s casino is expected to be the most lucrative out of all the proposals, providing close to $192 million in revenues annually.

So far, the Hard Rock Casino and Bally’s plan has been discussed. Officials and residents must now hear the Rivers 78 proposal today. Once all three are completed, it is expected that each will be evaluated further and a decision made on the Chicago casino in the near future.

About the Author

Author Rachel is a law student, and she is helping us out with the legal side of things regarding casino gambling in the US. The legality of gambling in the United States is continually changing, and it has especially been turbulent in the last couple of years, so knowing which states legalized gambling and which are yet to do so is getting a bit difficult. But if you need to know everything about the legality of gambling in your state, Rachel is the person to ask. She keeps track of the latest gambling bills and is ready to bring you news. During her free time, Rachel likes riding her bike and playing video games.