Bally's temporary Chicago casino could open as soon as this weekend

Medinah Temple is transforming into Bally’s Chicago Casino.

The Illinois Gaming Board will inspect and observe some controlled gambling before giving approval.

For the next two days, it’s showtime. Bally’s Casino gave tours of the rehabbed Medinah Temple, 600 N. Wabash Ave., but did not allow any photographs or video inside.

From the outside, the flashy lights of slot machines can be seen through glass doors.

There are three floors of slots, table games, bars and restaurants, VIP areas and a player’s club.

The River North location is the temporary casino until the permanent casino, resort and entertainment complex is built at the old Tribune Publishing campus at Chicago Avenue and Halsted Street

While inspectors decide if Bally’s is ready to play, the stakes are high.

"We cannot afford to let the city down. We cannot afford to make this a second-class operation. This is a prelude to what's about to come in the permanent casino three years from now," Ameet Patel, Bally’s Senior Vice President and Regional General Manager, said.


Patel said friends, family and invited guests will gamble with their own money during the test period. If they win, they will keep their winnings. Any winnings the house takes, will be donated to charities. The inspectors will then determine if the casino is ready to open to the public.

Architectural features were preserved inside and outside the historic Medinah Temple

Built in 1912, it was home to The Shriners, a circus and a furnishings store. If the Illinois Gaming Board approves, the Medinah Temple will become the house, with gambling happening here as soon as this weekend.