Bally’s Chicago to go to a 24/7 operation next week

Antonio Perez/Chicago Tribune/TNS

Gamblers will soon be able to roll the dice around the clock at Bally’s Chicago after the casino was granted approval to expand to a 24/7 operation beginning Dec. 27.

Bally’s Chicago has been limited to a 20-hour daily schedule since opening its temporary casino Sept. 9. The Illinois Gaming Board signed off on the casino’s request for expanded hours Dec. 6.

“Opening our doors 24/7 is an important step as we continue to increase our visitation,” Mark Wong, vice president and general manager of Bally’s Chicago, said in a news release Wednesday. “This is a progression toward attaining the goals we set out to achieve and gives us similar hours to other local casino properties.”

Rhode Island-based Bally’s was selected by the city last year to build a $1.74 billion casino at the 30-acre Freedom Center printing plant site in River West, which is expected to open in 2026. The casino can operate at its temporary facility inside Medinah Temple for up to three years after being granted a 12-month extension by the Gaming Board in October.

The state’s sweeping 2019 gambling expansion bill, which created six new casino licenses including the one awarded to Bally’s Chicago, also allowed land-based facilities and 24/7 operations. Most established Illinois casinos maximize their license and stay open continuously.

Bally’s Chicago has previously said that going 24/7 will enable the casino to boost revenues and gain more traction as it looks to build its business in an increasingly competitive gambling landscape.

The casino at Medinah Temple generated just over $7.6 million in adjusted gross receipts last month, matching its October revenue totals, according to data published by the Gaming Board. Bally’s Chicago hosted 86,459 visitors during November, up more than 3,000 from the previous month.

Bally’s Chicago ranked fourth in revenue and second in admissions in November among the state’s 15 casinos, according to Gaming Board data. Rivers Casino Des Plaines led the way with $43.5 million in adjusted gross receipts and 249,000 admissions.

As part of its expanded hours, Bally’s Chicago will now offer 24/7 dining service at its Wabash Cafe. The casino is also adding discounted parking and expanded shuttle service.