Bally’s has gone ‘above and beyond’ to support minority investors

Whichever casino bid is chosen, the City of Chicago must be intentional in offering investment opportunities for people of color. Bally’s Chicago has supported minority investors by offering them access to capital and liquidity.

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Artist’s rendering of the proposed Bally’s casino in River West.

Artist’s rendering of the proposed temporary Bally’s Casino in River West. The permanent casino is proposed for the Near South Side. west of McCormick Place and DuSable Lake Shore Drive.

Provided

After years of false starts and waiting, the City of Chicago is finally getting a casino. This casino will bring with it the promise of renewed economic development. Nearby businesses will see a boost in foot traffic and Chicago will have a new destination to attract tourists from around the world. However, there is another group of people that will gain from this venture. This group — minority investors, particularly Black investors — has been historically discriminated against and is often overlooked and priced out of opportunities to build generational wealth.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s administration has been very intentional about making strides to reverse this trend through initiatives like Invest South/West, Chicago. Whichever casino bid is chosen must be equally intentional in offering investment opportunities for people of color. It’s not enough to fill quotas. There must be a comprehensive and holistic approach to undoing decades of inequity.

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That’s why we are proud to be investors in Bally’s Chicago. Bally’s has gone above and beyond to support minority investors by offering them access to capital and liquidity. No matter how savvy an investor is, capital is often the barrier that keeps them on the outside looking in. Bally’s has addressed this by lending investors capital to magnify our ownership in this project. The loan is designed to maximize the benefit to the investor, and there is no requirement to repay the loan out of our own pocket. This investment is expected to generate an average return of 20% annually.

Recently, Crain’s Chicago Business published an article about Bally’s minority investor plan. We found this article to be both a mischaracterization of the facts and insulting to minority investors at large. We are not a group of people who are easily blind to the terms of the agreement that we signed. We are a group of experienced, sophisticated, savvy and intelligent investors who recognized a great deal not just for us, but for our community and Chicago. Many of us have decades of built-up good will and a history of making sound decisions. We believe that investing in Bally’s Chicago is one of those decisions and look forward to continuing our partnership.

Gloria Batey, Kevin Hicks and Lance Jones, Bally’s minority investors

America’s pastime in jeopardy

Despite Gordon Gekko’s stance that greed is good, it’s singularly bad for baseball. And the quicker both sides of the lockout realize this, the sooner “Play ball!” will be heard in stadiums throughout our nation.

Bob Ory, Elgin

Aldermen will never do right thing

In a recent Sun-Times story, Ald. Tom Tunney (44th) said, “The public has confidence in their local alderman to do the right thing.”

Thanks for the belly laugh, Tom.

The public has confidence for aldermen to do only one thing: Feather their own beds at the expense of taxpayers without regard to the law or morality.

Since I moved here four decades ago, that’s what aldermen have done with unprecedented consistency, and which I am confident they will continue to do for the foreseeable future.

James FitzGerald, Edgewater

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