Chicagoans react to Bally's casino proposal for River West

A casino can bring in a lot of money for Chicago, however, neighbors are concerned it will also bring trouble in the way of traffic congestion, crime and construction inconvenience. 

The Bally’s proposal beat out Hard Rock Chicago and Rivers Casino as Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s selection for Chicago’s casino license.

The $1.7 billion development would be built at Chicago Avenue and Halsted Street, where the old Chicago Tribune printing press was located.


In addition to a casino, there will be a hotel, theater, restaurants and bars. Neighbors say congestion will be an issue. But some are open to the development.

Jennifer Winston, who lives nearby, said she welcomes the financial benefits. 

"It would be good for Chicago and who doesn’t need something good these days?"

Will Bruno commented on the congestion.

"I do think they need to fix the bridge there, the traffic is terrible. I can’t imagine what it would be with a casino there. We pay a lot in property taxes, I feel like it should be put toward that."

The public gets to weigh in on the record at a town hall meeting next Thursday at the UIC Forum. 

The project has to be approved by Chicago’s City Council and the Illinois Gaming Board. If approved, it could be completed in 2026.

Bally’s plans to open a temporary casino in the old Medinah Temple building downtown.