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Bally's Chicago selected as preferred bidder for new casino

5 May 2022

(PRESS RELEASE) -- Bally's Corporation, a global gaming, hospitality and entertainment company with a portfolio of casinos and resorts and online gaming businesses, today announced that the City of Chicago has selected Bally's Chicago – a $1.7 billion destination casino, entertainment and hotel project – as the preferred bidder in the City's request for proposal (RFP) process to construct and operate a world-class casino resort in downtown Chicago. Bally's worked cooperatively with city officials and community leaders throughout the RFP process to develop a project that embraced Chicago as a global gateway city, incorporating its vibrant cultural scene and highly diversified economy.

As evidenced in the City's evaluation report, Bally's Chicago provides the most economic value to it and its taxpayers, including an upfront payment of $40 million and annual payments to the City totaling $4 million. The project is expected to generate more than $800 million in stabilized gaming revenue on an annual basis – a substantial portion of which will support the City's obligations toward its fire and police union pensions. Additionally, Bally's Chicago will create more than 3,000 annual construction jobs and 3,000 permanent jobs upon completion of the project. Bally's has the financial resources to complete the project and will not require additional equity financing to fulfill its obligations.

Having adopted the theme "The Best of Chicago," the Bally's Chicago proposal is the most community-focused of those submitted. A hallmark of Bally's Chicago is its innovative Community Investment Program, which reserves 25% of the equity in Bally's Chicago with matched financing that will allow hundreds of local and underrepresented communities of investors to own a piece of "the Best of Chicago".

Additionally, with its community-first approach, Bally's Chicago is committed to leveraging the diverse capabilities of its Chicago-based partners, including the Chicago Community Builder's Collective – a minority-led construction management company – to complete the project. In further support of its valued project partners, Bally's Chicago also plans to implement programs to incentivize players and guests to support local businesses, promote career opportunities within Bally's Chicago, and sponsor local, charitable organizations. Bally's Chicago will also open opportunities for additional leading restaurateurs, retailers and designers from Chicago to partner with Bally's Chicago and reflect the best of the Second City.

Further demonstrating Bally's commitment to the Chicago community, it has entered into a neutrality agreement with the Chicago Federation of Labor (CFL), ensuring high-paying roles for Chicago's organized labor groups in operating Bally's Chicago. Bally's, which is already licensed by the Illinois Gaming Board (IGB), will work cooperatively and expeditiously with the IGB to obtain an operating license in Chicago.

Soo Kim, Chairman of Bally's Corporation's Board of Directors, said, "We would like to thank Mayor Lightfoot and her office for conducting a tough, but fair, RFP process, and for selecting Bally's Chicago as the preferred bidder for the City's casino. Our vision is that Bally's Chicago will be of the people, by the people, and for the people of Chicago. Chicago is a unique and vibrant city, deserving of a world-class gaming and entertainment destination that drives the local economy, supports local labor, creates multigenerational wealth for minority investors, and showcases the best of what the City has to offer. We look forward to continuing to work collaboratively with the City Council and various City departments, the CFL, the Illinois Gaming Board, and all of our valued community partners on this exciting endeavor."
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