Lake Michigan

Chicago Casino Bids: Details on Sites Along the River, Lakefront Where Resort Could be Built

The city of Chicago has been seeking to license and build a casino for decades, and now three different projects have reached the next step in that process to potentially bring a new resort to the city.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s office made the big announcement on Tuesday, saying that sites operated by Bally’s, Hard Rock and Rivers would become finalists for the multi-billion-dollar project.

Here are more details on the three finalists:

Bally’s Corporation

The Bally’s casino would be located at the site of the Tribune’s Publishing Plant in the city’s River West neighborhood.

The project would include a 500-room hotel tower, indoor and outdoor music venues, and at least half a dozen restaurants, cafes and a food hall. It would also feature 3,400 slot machines and more than 170 table games.

The site would also feature an extension of the city’s Riverwalk along the Chicago river.

The project could add more than 9,700 construction jobs and more than 2,000 casino jobs.

Hard Rock

The Hard Rock’s ONE Central site would be situated along Chicago’s lakefront, just to the north of the McCormick Place facility.

The proposal would include a 3,500-seat live music venue, a 500-room hotel tower, a spa, restaurants and six bars and lounges.

The casino would offer 3,000 slot machines and more than 160 table games.

More than 16,000 construction jobs, and more than 3,000 permanent jobs, would be included in the project, officials said.


The “Rivers 78” proposal would be built on a site simply known as “The 78.” That site is located on the near South Side of the city on a former railroad property on the South branch of the Chicago river.

The site will feature a new Red Line station at 15th Street and an affordable housing commitment for up to 10,000 residential units.

The casino portion of the site would include a multipurpose riverfront venue for live entertainment, a 300-room hotel tower, eight restaurants and five bars.

The casino would include spaces for 2,600 slot machines and nearly 200 table games, according to officials.

More than 4,000 construction jobs could be created, with more than 3,000 casino jobs expected to be created.

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