Record-Breaking Revenue Boost for Bally’s Casino in Historic Chicago Temple


An unexpected windfall was experienced by the interim Bally’s Casino in Chicago, nestled within the historical walls of the Medinah Temple, with gaming play for May reaching an all-time high. According to reports by the Illinois Gaming Control Board (IGCB), the monthly gross gaming revenue reached a commanding $11.73 million at the Magnificent Mile-adjacent establishment. Of this sizeable sum, the lion’s share was attributed to slots, raking in a cool $6.98 million, while table games followed at a respectful $4.75 million.

This newest flurry of activity, crowning May 2024 as Bally’s Chicago’s best month to date since opening its 35,000-square-foot property the previous September, was enthusiastically welcomed by Mark Wong, vice president and general manager. Seeing an embracing tide of tourists and locals alike, Wong saw their growth as a clear endorsement of Bally’s continued community engagement efforts along with their commitment towards maintaining responsible gaming.

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The prevailing ambiance of excitement and success is echoed by the loyalty program. Wong exalted an encouraging leap in their enlistment, which recently surpassed the 90,000 plateau. Bally’s Chicago, boasting of 800 slot machines and 56 live dealer table games, is drawing in players with its extensive offering.

Yet, despite the building momentum of the temporary gaming facility, the anticipated revenue remains regrettably short of initially predicted figures. High hopes for Bally’s, situated in the Freedom Center, are heralded as the Rhode Island-based gaming enterprise is slated next month to replace the former dwelling of the Chicago Tribune printing plant with their own. The vision is a sight to behold, promising to house the largest casino in Illinois complete with a 500-room hotel, a 3,000-seat theater, 10 restaurants, and a casino equipped with 4,000 gaming positions scheduled for unveiling in 2026.

This ambitious development, however, is not without its challenges. Funding has proven to be a formidable hurdle with the company struggling to secure the $800 million required to realize their $1.7 billion endeavor. Despite stumbling blocks, Wong remains resolute, affirming that the project is “on track to open” punctually in September 2026.

The heartening news of May’s revenue provides a much-needed boost in light of previous estimates, originally forecasting $242.7 million revenue from casino players in 2024 – a monthly average of around $20.22 million. In stark comparison, actual figures come up shorter, with revenue standing at $52.36 million over the course of January to May, or approximately $10.47 million a month.

Standing on the precipice of architectural transformation, Wong disclosed to the Chicago Tribune that demolition plans for the Freedom Center, acquired by Bally’s for $150 million, are due to commence next month. The Freedom Center once buzzed with news publications such as the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago Reader, and The New York Times‘ Midwest distribution – now relocated 10 miles northwest of O’Hare International Airport to the Paddock Printing Center in Schaumburg. Yet the echoes of history will be silenced tonight as Tribune Publishing finally powers down the in-house presses of the Freedom Center.