The Illinois Gaming Board (IGB) voted unanimously in its first in-person meeting in over three years to give the green light to the proposed site of a temporary casino in Chicago. Thursday’s decision allows Bally’s Corporation to set up a gaming facility at Medinah Temple in River North.

temporary casino could remain open for at least two years

Bally’s will build a permanent casino in Chicago at a separate site. The temporary casino could remain open for at least two years while the permanent location is under construction.

Some locals previously expressed concerns about the proposed site of the temporary casino, as it is a historic building. The Medinah Temple is a century-old Shriner’s amphitheater that was most recently home to a Bloomingdale’s Home Store. Bally’s senior vice president for design and development quelled concerns by confirming that no changes will be made to the outside of the structure, except for replacing Bloomingdale’s signage.

The current expectation is that the temporary casino will be ready to open as early as June. The IGB still needs to approve anyone that is to be involved in the temporary casino project, including subcontractors.