CHICAGO — The location of a Chicago casino could be the former Chicago Tribune Printing Plant at Chicago Avenue and Halsted Street, according to multiple media outlets.
The Chicago Sun-Times and Crain’s Chicago Business reported Tuesday that the Bally’s proposal could get Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s approval this week.
The other two contenders in the running are Hard Rock, which would be located east of Soldier Field, and Rivers 78, a large development in the South Loop.
Lightfoot said that such reports weren’t entirely accurate when asked about the decision during a separate news conference.
The mayor stated that she is still waiting to hear back from the special evaluation committee before she decides.
“We have a very specific process, and the process is that there’s an evaluation committee that’s been hard at work through this process,” Lightfoot said. “They will meet, they will evaluate all the information that’s been provided by the three finalists to date, and then they will make a recommendation to me. That hasn’t happened yet.”
The Bally’s River West proposed location received strong pushback last month during a community engagement meeting.
“An increased, already congested traffic,” one person said. “I used to walk everywhere but it’s dangerous due to speeding. There would be more crime despite what the survey says.”
Bally’s developers said at that time promised neighborhood improvements and more revenue.
“We are not building an entertainment destination that will have flashing neon lights and change the vibe of the neighborhood, but rather integrate into the community,” said Amit Patel on behalf of Bally’s Corporation.
Once the mayor has made her recommendation, the City Council must ratify the casino site. It then goes to the Illinois Gaming Board for final approval of a casino license.