Tuesday, a committee of the Chicago City Council approved Bally’s casino’s zoning after a key alderperson accepted the company’s promise to hire more people from underrepresented groups.
Ald. Walter Burnett Jr., whose 27th Ward contains the casino site between Chicago Avenue and Halsted Street, praised the project rather than “creating a lot of hell,” as he promised Monday if he didn’t see Bally’s labour union agreements by Tuesday.
Burnett told the Committee on Zoning, Landmarks, and Building Standards that he has seen certain documentation and received a minority employment pledge from Mayor Lori Lightfoot. The committee approved casino zoning 10-4 after Burnett spoke.
Burnett noted the project’s complexity and Bally’s anticipated need to return before City Council to address additional problems.
“Everybody must come back and see you, and ultimately, they’re going to need something else,” Burnett warned alderpersons. “So I know they don’t want to see me angry in the future and that they’ll keep their promise to hire people from our community.”I’m sure it’ll work out.”
City Council Might Vote on Casino Zoning
Burnett has attacked construction unions for not giving black citizens more chances.
At the committee meeting, Bally’s leadership reiterated their commitment to award 46% of contracts to minority- or women-owned enterprises and hire 60% minorities.
Based on experiences in other locations, Bally’s vice president of corporate development, Christopher Jewett, is convinced Bally’s can uphold those obligations.
Burnett subsequently told the Sun-Times that Bally’s and the trade unions are working together on minority employment and that the city has a solid contractual commitment from the casino operator. He stated that everyone is on board with hiring from the community.
Burnett stated, “I’d want to give them a chance,” while criticising trade unions. I’m serious.”
If granted, the new zoning would enable a 500-room hotel, 3,000-seat theater, event centre, and riverwalk. The casino would obtain 4,000 gaming positions. Bally’s requires
Illinois Gaming Board clearance to commence the project in Chicago
If that happens, Bally’s would establish a temporary casino at Medinah Temple, 600 N. Wabash Ave., maybe next year. The $1.7 billion permanent casino should open in 2026.
Several zoning committee members lauded the casino’s union jobs and financial benefits to the city, which received $40 million from Bally’s.