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Which Chi casino are you betting on?

By Sidney Madden | @sidney_madden_


The city will soon get its first casino. Bidders will present proposals to the public today.

So what are they? And why are they so, uh, controversial? 

Critics wonder if Bally’s $1.8 billion offer at the Chicago Tribune Publishing Center would work with downtown congestion, according to Crain’s Chicago. The Rhode Island company’s plan includes 3,400 slots, 173 table games, 500 hotel rooms, and a 3,000-seat, 70,000-square-foot entertainment venue. 

Bally’s other $1.6 billion bid at the McCormick Place Truck Marshaling, has many of the same features, but Ald. Sophia King of the 4th Ward remains vocal in her opposition to a casino near Bronzeville. 

The city shouldn’t profit off the casino at the expense of marginalized communities, she told the Chicago Sun-Times

Chinatown residents are similarly concerned about easier gambling access, Block Club Chicago reported. And industry mogul Neil Bluhm’s$2 billion riverboat casino bid would be docked next to the 78 development. 

McCormick Place trade show leaders have long worried a nearby casino would take people away from the convention floor. 

But Bluhm’s $1.3 billion proposal would connect the convention center with a lakeside casino resort, and Hard Rock Chicago’s $1.7 billion bid at the proposed One Central site would be next door.

👉 Stream the presentation today from 12:45–7 p.m. Check out the proposals ahead of time.


In the 1960s, Gloria Allen, aka Mama Gloria, was ridiculed by teachers and fellow students at Englewood High School for being a “sissy.” Allen says no one knew what transgender meant then. But she always knew she was a girl. 

With the support of her mother, grandmother, and neighbors, Allen was able to embrace herself at a young age.

A new documentary about the local icon showcases the “Sissy Balls” she attended in the 1960s, the charm school she started, and more. 

🎧 Listen to Allen share her lifelong fight for transgender rights.

👉 Watch “Mama Gloria” on PBS.


▪️ The state’s second case of the omicron variant was detected in a suburban Cook County woman. [NBC Chicago]

▪️ Anjanette Young said she will keep pushing for search warrant reform after the city approved her $2.9 million settlement. [New York Times]

▪️ Have a connection to when the Cabrini-Green homes were torn down? Share your story. [Better Government Association]

▪️ The Thompson Center is saved! RIP the indoor waterpark. [WGN]

▪️ Send good vibes to the Northern Illinois University Huskies at the Cure Bowl Friday 🏈🔮 [SB Nation]

▪️ O’Hare is travelers’ fav U.S. airport…again. [Global Traveler]


+ TODAY: Outdoor comedy show in Logan Square
See the last “It Will Be Okay” show at Parson’s at 8 p.m.

+ SATURDAY: Englewood Winter Fest
Get toys and winter gear at the Peace House from 2–6 p.m. 

+ THIS WEEKEND: Ravenswood, Lawndale holiday lights
Check out the North Side neighborhood’s businesses decked out in holiday lights. Help decorate Douglas Boulevard all weekend long.


Need some festive live music to get into the holiday spirit? See the Chicago Children’s Choir’s “Songs of the Season” concert this weekend. 

Attendees can expect classics like “Winter Wonderland” and “O Holy Night,” and songs from around the world like South Africa’s “Shosholoza” and Puerto Rico’s “En Mi Viejo San Juan!”

👉 Go to the concert at Epiphany Center for the Arts at 5:30 p.m.

🎧 Listen to the choir tell City Cast about its return to the stage this year.

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