Chicago Mayor Lightfoot announces her pick to build city's first casino

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Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced that she has accepted a proposal from Bally's to develop the first casino in the city.

Bally's beat out competing bids from Hard Rock and Rivers Casinos.

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"This effort was three decades in the making and Chicago is long overdue for an entertainment complex that rivals other big cities," Lightfoot tweeted Thursday. "Bally’s Chicago will feature world-class amenities."\

The mayor then tweeted from her personal account that having a casino in the city sends a message "that Chicago's economy is on a strong path to recovery" following a decline during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Chicago is a labor town. Any major economic development in this city like our new casino will put good-paying union jobs at the forefront," she added. Bally's had made deals with several labor unions, garnering political support in the process, Fox 32 Chicago reported.

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The plan from Bally's, which still needs approval from the city council and a license from the state gaming board, includes a luxury hotel, indoor and outdoor entertainment venues, six restaurants, and a museum dedicated to Chicago sports. 

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Bally's plans to spend $1.7 billion on the project, which would be located at the current site of the Chicago Tribune Freedom Center.

The casino is by no means guaranteed, however, as there is opposition on the council and in the city.

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