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Bally's Corporation submits bid for Chicago casino license

29 October 2021

(PRESS RELEASE) -- Bally's Corporation, a leading U.S. omni-channel provider of land-based gaming and interactive entertainment, today submitted a proposal to the City of Chicago to develop and operate the $1.6 billion Bally's Chicago, a world-class entertainment destination resort. The casino, hotel, and entertainment venue will be Bally's flagship property and showcase the best of Chicago in its programming.

"Chicago is a dynamic, world-class city, which is why we are committing to make a $1.6 billion investment in establishing Bally's Chicago as our flagship, and the only property in its class in the Chicagoland market," said Soo Kim, Bally's Chairman. "This property will be built, owned, and operated by Chicagoans, with a focus on minority and women investors, contractors, suppliers, consultants, and employees. It will generate tax revenue, create good-paying jobs, and attract international, national, and local visitors for generations to come."

Bally's has proposed two potential sites, both of which it views as economic sleeping giants for the City's and the communities' consideration: The Chicago Tribune Publishing Center, located on the corner of Chicago Avenue and Halsted Street, and the McCormick Place Truck Marshaling Yard. The Tribune site is within walking distance to shopping, restaurants, and other cultural attractions and easily accessed by public transportation. The McCormick Place Truck Marshaling Yard creates an entertainment destination that connects Chicago's convention hub with the vibrant, predominantly African American Bronzeville community and would turn the underutilized site into a significant source of tax revenue for the City.

To be built in two phases, the $1.0 billion first phase will feature 2,700 slot machines and 95 table games, with ample room for significant expansion of gaming space and / or other amenities; a 100-all suite luxury hotel; an outdoor music venue for performances seating 500 to 1,000, as well as green space for relaxation and recreation; dining options curated by James Beard award-winning chef Paul Kahan's One Off Hospitality; and pop-up entertainment by local artists.

Upon achieving our expected investment return threshold on Phase 1, Bally's Chicago will expand its footprint with an additional $600 million investment to add up to 4,000 total gaming positions; a fully-built 400-room hotel tower with a rooftop pool and bar; an amenity terrace featuring a larger pool, spa, fitness center, and sun deck; a 3,000-seat flexible indoor entertainment venue that can accommodate large performances, smaller meetings, and private events; a 20,000-square foot exhibition space with both a Chicago sports museum and rotating immersion exhibits curated by Immerse Agency; and an expanded food and beverage program with additional large-format restaurants, including an Erick Williams' led fine-dining steakhouse.

In response to the City's request that a temporary facility operate while the permanent facility is being developed, Bally's Chicago intends to operate a temporary facility adjacent to the Chicago Tribune Publishing Center site. The site, its amenities and experience, will introduce visitors to the Bally's Chicago brand and serve as a precursor to the permanent facility.

Bally's intends to leverage the airport visitation by utilizing a portion of the available 4,000 gaming positions allocated to the project and will work with the City to right-size the number of positions to be placed at O'Hare and Midway airports. We believe that, properly marketed, the airport visitation will capture incremental customers for Bally's Chicago and generate additional tax revenue for the City.

An Equitable Economic Development and Investment
Chicago native and Bally's Director Wanda Y. Wilson said, "From design and build to operations and ownership, Bally's Chicago is committed to providing meaningful leadership roles, well-paying jobs, and investment opportunities for all Chicagoans—especially MBE/WBE/VBE/DBE-certified firms and minority and women residents. I have spent my career in gaming, and am proud to be a director and investor in Bally's. Its commitment to innovation, culture and diverse ownership makes it a leader in the industry. Everyone knows the Bally name, and that global recognition will attract visitors to Bally's Chicago."

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