Big league casino operator Bally’s Corporation has revealed that it has come to an agreement with a consortium of trade union organizations regarding the construction of its Bally’s Chicago casino, leading to the signing of a multi-project labor agreement (PLA) with the collective. The operator signed the agreement with the CCBT and AFL-CIO major trade union consortiums.

Bally’s has come to an agreement with a consortium of trade union organizations about the construction of its Bally’s Chicago casino resort, signing of a multi-project labor agreement (PLA) as a result. ©TobiasBrunner/Pixabay

The CCBT Represents 100,000 Union Members from 23 Affiliated Organizations

The highly prominent casino operator Bally’s Corporation has revealed that it has finalized and signed a multi-project labor agreement (PLA) together with a consortium of trade union organizations concerning the development of its vast Bally’s Chicago integrated casino resort.

The two consortiums that Bally’s signed the agreement with are the Chicago & Cook County Building & Construction Trades Council (CCBT) and the AFL-CIO Building and Construction Trades Department. The CCBT in particular is an especially large consortium, acting as an AFL-CIO affiliated labor organization and representing over 100,000 people hailing from 23 affiliated construction trade organizations.

With the much-protracted negotiations now at a close in the form of a deal, Chicago & Cook County Building & Construction Trades Council President Michael Macellaio claimed the consortium is happy to now work alongside Bally’s in developing and building Chicago’s first-ever casino, asserting that the agreement is proof of Bally’s prioritizing honest labor done by Chicago’s reputed working class:

“BCTC is proud to stand with Bally’s Chicago in this historic building of the first and only casino in the City of Chicago. With this agreement, Bally’s shows that it understands the importance of good-paying jobs in our city and the dignity of our hard-working people.”Michael Macellaio, President, Chicago & Cook County Building & Construction Trades Council, Press Release

Integrated Casino Resort has Faced Resistance from RIver North Neighborhood Residents

For its part, Bally’s Chairman Soo Kim touted the importance of community to the operator’s projects, even going so far as to mention how much it prizes organized labor, as well as the labor movement’s significance in developing and building up the city of Chicago:

“At Bally’s, we believe our company should reflect the community. This PLA is a demonstration of our commitment to embrace organized labor that has played such a key role in building the great city of Chicago. This is the first step of a project that will be built by Chicago, for Chicago, and help the city keep its promises to the police and fire pensions. We are also committed to inclusivity and our partnerships with the CCBT, Chicago Federation of Labor, and Hire360 will ensure our workforce will reflect the rich diversity of the city.”Soo Kim, Chairman, Bally’s Corporation, Press Release

Clearly there are many hurdles Bally’s needs to jump through in its construction of the massive Bally’s Chicago integrated casino resort. Striking a deal with organized labor organizations was a first major one, with the multi-project labor agreement (PLA) marking another step forward on the road to completion. But the operator is still facing resistance from some local residents in the River North neighborhood where the complex is set to be located.

Bob Reiter, President of the Chicago Federation of Labor, explained that the federation was grateful that Bally’s is taking its commitment to employment seriously:

“We appreciate that Bally’s holds itself to a higher standard when it comes to employment. Our mission is to strengthen the participation of underrepresented populations—with a special focus on engaging youth to consider the trades as a viable and inspiring career path—and Bally’s has proven to take that very seriously.”Bob Reiter, President, Chicago Federaton of Labor, Press Release

Bally’s Donated $600,000 to International Center for Responsible Gaming in August 2022

In other recent Bally’s-related news, the operator announced in August 2022 that it was donating an impressive $600,000 to the International Center for Responsible Gaming (ICRG), intending to support the center’s ongoing research surrounding the problem of gambling among young adults.

Once it received the generous funding from Bally’s, the International Center for Responsible Gaming (ICRG) subsequently issued a call to scientists worldwide, inviting them to apply for funding to help with the center’s research into gambling, hoping to eventually come to a conclusion concerning what methods can be employed to better protect players – especially younger ones.

The ICRG will also make efforts to broaden the research findings of its projects further than simply academia. It has ambitions to eventually issue guidelines to the gambling industry, urging it to implement more effective responsible gambling strategies.

Arthur Paikowsky, president of the International Center for Responsible Gaming (ICRG), asserted that Bally’s significant donation to the center is nothing but proof of the operator’s devotion to better embracing safer gambling measures:

“With this grant, Bally’s has taken a giant stride toward understanding the health risks of young adult gamblers and improving the effectiveness of existing responsible gambling tools. The ICRG salutes Bally’s for making such a huge impact on the field of gambling studies.”

Bally’s Won Bid to Build Chicago Resort Back in May 2022

Bally’s presence in the city of Chicago was solidified when, in May 2022, the city selected its $1.7 billion destination casino, entertainment and hotel project as the preferred bidder in the City’s request for proposal (RFP) bidding process to construct a world-class casino resort in the city’s downtown.

Soo Kim, Chairman of Bally’s Corporation’s Board of Directors, thanked Chicago’s mayor Lori Lightfoot in a lengthy statement, already making clear at this stage Bally’s desire to support Chicago’s local community:

“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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