Chicago casino finalists meet the neighbours to present their projects

There are three finalists for the Chicago casino.
There are three finalists for the Chicago casino.

A series of community engagement meetings has been held in Chicago to present the Bally’s Tribune, Hard Rock, and Rivers 78 casino projects.

US.- Chicago residents were able to learn more about the options for a casino in the city in a series of public meetings held by each of the finalists picked by mayor Lori Lightfoot. Out of five initial proposals, Lightfoot chose Bally’s Tribune, Hard Rock and Rivers 78 as the three finalists. Public meetings began on Tuesday and end today (Thursday).

The meetings are being livestreamed, with in-person priority given to residents who live in the respective ZIP codes of the projects. The meetings consist of a presentation by the bidder and an opportunity for residents to ask questions and share feedback.

Hard Rock was the first company to pitch its project on Tuesday. Bally’s presented on Wednesday and Rivers 78 on Thursday.

The three proposals are:

  • Bally´s: at the Chicago Tribune Publishing Center. Valued at $1.8bn, a 3,600-gaming positions casino, a 500-room high-rise hotel, 70,000 square-foot entertainment venue.
  • Hard Rock Chicago: a $1.7bn property at ONE Central with up to 500 rooms, eight restaurants, six bars and lounges, a 3,500-seat Hard Rock Live, Rock Spa, Hard Rock Music and Entertainment Experience, 3,400 slots, and 166 table games.
  • Rivers 78 Gaming LLC: in the eight-acre riverfront entertainment district at the northern end of the mixed-use 78 neighbourhood. A $2bn property with 300 rooms; eight restaurants, five bars, and lounges; riverfront plaza; observation tower with indoor-outdoor viewing space; Harbor Hall multipurpose riverfront venue for live entertainment, culture-arts and community programs with rooftop space; 2,600 slots and 190 table games.

Bally’s says it would open a temporary casino by the second quarter of 2023, with the permanent casino opening in the first quarter of 2026, while Rivers would open a temporary casino in the second quarter of 2024 and the permanent casino in the fourth quarter of 2025.

Hard Rock would open a temporary casino in the second quarter of 2023, and would plan to open the permanent casino by the third quarter of 2025.

Once this process is complete, finalists will be evaluated by Mayor Lightfoot, city officials, and a winning bid will then be chosen. The Chicago City Council and the Illinois Gaming Board will have to sign off on any chosen bid.

See also: Three companies present five Chicago casino bids to the public

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