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Bally’s Entertainment Likely to Offer Casino Ownership Stake to Chicago Residents and Minority Groups

The residents of Chicago could be offered a piece of ownership in the city’s first casino venue.

The casino operator, Bally’s Entertainment, shared that it has proposed to grant a casino stake in a draft registration statement that was officially submitted to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The company’s statement, however, remains confidential for the time being, allowing the SEC and the US casino operator to negotiate the terms before the details of their agreement are officially unveiled to the wider public.

Bally’s Entertainment shared that its offer for an ownership stake would be made to residents of the city who meet the qualification requirements if the company and city officials eventually sign the Host Community Agreement. Under the provisions of the deal, no less than 25% of the casino project’s worth must be held by local minorities or businesses owned or controlled by minorities.

That was exactly the commitment that helped the casino operator get the support of Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot in 2022. If everything goes as planned, the casino would replace the printing plant of the Chicago Tribune by 2026.

For the time being, details of the offering have not been unveiled. It also remains unknown whether shares will be sold to non-minorities. At the time it announced the proposal, Bally’s Entertainment shared that the number of ownership interests that are set to be offered, as well as the terms and price range for the proposed offering, had not been determined. The company also explained that the Initial Public Offering (IPO) is expected to take place after the Securities and Exchange Commission finalizes the review process for the project which is subject to various conditions.

Still, the gambling company noted that it could not make any guarantees that the shares will be eventually issued.

Temporary Casino in Chicago Expected to Open by August 2023

On the official website of the Chicago casino project, Bally’s Entertainment has explained that minority investors are set to own one-quarter of the project (or 25%). Such investors would include business owners, celebrities, sports stars, philanthropists, regular Chicago residents from the local Latino and Black communities, and some other representatives of ethnic and gender groups.

As previously reported by CasinoGamesPro, the company is currently building a temporary casino in Medinah Temple that is expected to become operational by August 2023. The opening of Bally’s temporary casino venue still has to be approved by the Illinois Gaming Board.

The US gambling company completed one such sale-leaseback on the site of its Chicago casino. About a week ago, it became clear that the operator agreed to buy out Tribune Publishing’s lease. Bally’s Entertainment, however, has not commented on the agreement so far. It currently owns and operates 15 casino venues in 10 US states.

The company has already unveiled its earnings for the first quarter of 2023, citing strong growth registered in its casinos, casino resorts and online gambling operations. According to its financial report for the first three months of the year, the revenue of Bally’s Entertainment increased by 9% from the figures reported in the same period a year earlier, reaching $598.7 million. The company’s net income, on the other hand, rose from $1.9 million to $178.3 million over the same period.

 Author: Harrison Young

Harrison Young is an experienced writer, who started his career almost 8 years ago. Prior to joining our team at CasinoGamesPro, he worked as an editor for a small magazine.