Should City Hall push ahead with plans for Bally's casino in River West? Here's what Sun-Times readers say.

Bally’s will have trouble meeting its state-mandated September 2026 deadline for a $1.7 billion permanent casino, according to a gaming expert and Mayor Brandon Johnson. It’s been running a temporary casino at Medinah Temple.

SHARE Should City Hall push ahead with plans for Bally's casino in River West? Here's what Sun-Times readers say.
An artist's rendering of the planned Bally’s casino in River West.

An artist’s rendering of the planned Bally’s casino in River West.

Provided

With Mayor Brandon Johnson and a gaming expert questioning whether Bally’s will meet its state-mandated September 2026 deadline for the $1.7 billion casino it’s planning in River West, we asked readers whether the city of Chicago should push forward with Bally’s plans to build a permanent casino there. Here’s what you told us, the responses lightly edited for clarity and readability:

“The city of Chicago and Mayor Johnson need to hold Bally’s to the original agreement without revisions. Our police and fire pension funds are depending on the revenue.”

Bill Sullivan

“The current [temporary Medinah Temple] location is perfect. Centrally located, easily accessible for tourists and residents, great re-adaptive use of a historic building.”

Barton Lewin

Question of the day

Each weekday, the Sun-Times’ Afternoon Edition newsletter asks readers about key issues and life in Chicago. Here’s a selection of responses to one of those questions. Sign up for Afternoon Edition.

“Just use a floor or two of Sears Tower for a nighttime casino with restaurants. The city lights at night will be beautiful. Will be a fun destination even for those not that into casinos. Some people might be into the view and the dining and still might gamble a little.”

Bruce E. Silverman, River West

“No. That area is congested enough without a casino on that corner.”

Erick Lawrence, Streeterville

“Absolutely! Employment and higher tourism, which, of course, is tax revenue and money for local businesses. And where else in the Midwest is prettiest for a backdrop? ❤️❤️❤️"

Brice Notardonato Ellett, Dunning

“No, there is no longer any need. The temporary one proves people are afraid to go to a casino in Chicago.”

Mik Stole

Why not? Keeps people from creeping across the bridge to Indiana.”

Anthony Morgan

“It’s hard to believe that they still don’t have one after 30 years of legalized gambling.”

John Egan

“How about they build a HUGE affordable housing complex instead? That’d be a win/win in my book!”

Bart Crouch, Heart of Chicago

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