May 14, 2024 - News

Bally's Chicago betting on new perks to raise revenue

Photo of the front of a casino

Bally's Casino in River North. Photo: Carrie Shepherd/Axios

Bally's is ramping up the amenities at its temporary casino after revenues declined in April.

Why it matters: The temporary casino, which opened last fall, is meant to be a peek into how much revenue the permanent casino could bring when it's expected to open in 2026, but so far earnings haven't matched expectations.

The latest: Bally's Chicago reported a month-to-month revenue decline for the first time in April, bringing in $10.3 million, down from about $11.1 million in March.

  • In a recent quarterly earnings call, Bally's execs attributed lower revenue to difficult parking downtown and "Chicago's famous winters."

Between the lines: Sure, but it was a mild winter.

State of play: Bally's is now offering valet parking and says it's expanded its menu and seating at one of the restaurants.

  • They also plan to offer a VIP lounge and add more slots.
  • The gambling is driven more right now by younger players at the table games, Bally's said in the earnings call.

By the numbers: Since it opened, Bally's temporary casino has earned $71 million in total adjusted gross, according to Illinois Gaming Board reports.

  • Compare that revenue with Rivers Casino in Des Plaines, which pulled in $346 million in the same period.

Yes, but: The casino's opening was delayed, and hours weren't expanded until December.

What's next: Even though recent reports raised concerns about funding, Bally's execs said they are on track to open the permanent casino in 2026. They also said on the earnings call they won't have access to the site at the former Tribune printing plant until July.

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