“Bally’s Chicago fails to meet expectations”

Posted on: January 10, 2024, 09:44h. 

Last updated on: January 10, 2024, 09:44h.

Bally’s Chicago is struggling to meet revenue projections at the historic Medinah Temple. The casino came nowhere near its initial revenue forecasts, causing concerns for the future of the establishment and its impact on the Chicago gaming landscape.

Bally's Chicago gaming revenue
There was much fanfare when Bally’s opened its temporary casino in Chicago last September, but the casino underperformed. (Image: Getty)

Bally’s launched last September with high hopes, equipped with hundreds of slot machines and live dealer table games. The establishment, occupying a temporary 34,000-square-foot gaming facility, was expected to significantly contribute to the city’s gaming tax funds.

However, the reports from the Illinois Gaming Board (IGB) suggest that Bally’s failed to meet expectations. The casino generated only a fraction of the anticipated gaming revenue, which raises concerns amongst industry observers.

Lackluster Performance

The Illinois Gaming Board (IGB) reports gross gaming revenue (GGR) during the four months after Bally’s opening at just $30.4 million, a substantial shortfall from the city’s $102.5 million projection. This outcome is a setback for the operator, but Bally’s management remains optimistic that the casino will pick up its performance in the upcoming months.

According to the General Manager Mark Wong, Bally’s Chicago continues to enhance the customer experience by offering added convenience such as free parking, new promotions, and extended hours of operation.

Bally’s has also implemented a controversial shuttle service between the casino and Chicago’s Chinatown neighborhood, enabling it to gain more patrons in December than in October. However, concerns about the casino’s long-term prospects persist due to its ambitious revenue targets for the future.

Potential Challenges

City officials expect Bally’s to win $242.7 in gaming revenue and deliver $34.4 million in gaming taxes in 2024. The revenue forecasts grow significantly in the following years, raising concerns about the casino’s financial capabilities to realize these projections.

As Bally’s also faces a federal investigation into its successful bid for the Chicago gaming license, the future of the casino remains uncertain. The operator must address these challenges and deliver on its lofty revenue targets to establish itself as a viable player in the Chicago casino market.

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