Medinah Temple set to house temporary Chicago casino


CHICAGO — Bally’s Chicago casino is slated to take over the Medinah Temple, albeit temporarily, representatives announced Tuesday.

Unveiling the plan for the landmark building, Tuesday’s presentation focused on the preservation of the historic strucutre. Several questions about the move remain, however.

WATCH: River West site chosen for Bally’s casino

“The importance of how Medinah Temple is to the community, we understand that. It is a marvelous historic building that we value, admire and respect,” said Joyen Vakil, senior vice president of design and development for Bally’s.

In response to local’s concerns about what the temporary residence means for the building, Vakil says, “We are making sure that the building doesn’t get impacted, the façade of the building is not impacted. We are making literally no changes to the outside of the building with the exception of changing the signs where the Bloomingdale sign existed.”

Despite Tuesday’s announcement, there’s still unease the permanent site set to open in River West sometime in 2026. The city says it aims to address public safety and traffic studies at a meeting in the coming months.

“There were a lot of questions about traffic, a lot of questions about parking, a lot of questions about the disruption of being a 24/7 business and impact of road closures during construction,” said Martina Hone, Chicago Chief Engagement Officer.

A temporary casino at the Medinah Temple location could be open for up to three years. The city plans to hold another hearing on August 4th to present development plans.

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