Chicago Teams Threaten To Take Their Ball And Go Home Regarding Sportsbooks

Written By Derek Helling on October 27, 2019Last Updated on January 6, 2020
Sportsbook at Soldier Field

Bookmakers at locations like Wrigley Field and the United Center might one day become a reality. If Chicago sports teams approve of the terms, however, that & rsquo.

The five Chicago-based teams in the four major North American professional sports leagues made those terms plain to the Illinois Gaming Board. In a joint letter, the Bears, Blackhawks, Bulls, Cubs and White Sox stated their preferences.

What the sports teams in Chicago requested in the text

The five teams stated in the letter that they were interested in running sportsbooks at Guaranteed Rate Field( White Sox ), Soldier Field, United Center( Blackhawks and Bulls ), and Wrigley Field for Cubs. Yet, they claimed that interest only applies if the price is reasonable.

Protections for teams & rsquo, sportsbooks, and possibly an altered price are among the IGB’s requests. However, the past was emphasized more in the text than the latter.

The teams’ second line of defense is strict adherence to a portion of the new law that legalizes sports gambling. According to the law, the clubs have the sole right to run a casino or enter into an agreement with another party to do so within five blocks of their venues.

The email contends that this should also apply to mobile betting in addition to financial sportsbooks. Fans within five prevents of one of those venues would only be able to use the betting game that has the ideal team’s license if that were the case.

But, that isn’t the only ask. Before making an investment in a casino function, the groups want additional assurances.

Registration fees for sportsbooks playing a role

The price of a casino license is one of the main reasons the teams insist that the IGB enforce their exclusivity zones. They actually have a steak.

A passport costs$ 10 million to obtain. The registration fees aren’t as great, but they are a sizeable startup expense.

A skilled sportsbook’s license in Washington, D.C., costs only 5 % more. While it’s true that the casinos in the stadiums would draw a captive and attentive market, that still comes at an expensive price.

In their letter, the teams also request that the IGB forbid competitors and rsquo from placing advertisements within a five-block spoke. The email expresses worry about bets made with the Illinois Lottery in the area as well.

To support the teams’ arguments, the letter refers to a recent study. That study determined a Chicago casino would be fiscally insolvent due to high tax rates.

The team contend that unless the IGB accedes to their needs, the license fee has the same impact. Additionally, the team do have some leverage in this circumstance.

Why the condition might require the teams more than the other way around

Illinois legalized sports betting in large part because it wanted to boost profits from game taxes. If these Chicago groups refuse to open the bookmakers that the law permits, that won’t happen, at least not to the extent that it could.

If the team remain steadfast and refuse to make bets on sportsbooks until their demands are met met, which might compel the state to make a concession on the registration price. It would be crucial to strictly enforce the five-block spoke as well.

It will still be weeks before constitutional sports betting is actually implemented in Illinois. This is one issue that needs to be resolved in order for it to come to pass.

Helling, Derek Avatar
authored by

Helling, Derek

Helling, Derek is a lead writer for PlayUSA and the manager of BetHer. He is a 2013 graduate of the University of Iowa and covers the intersections of sports with business and the law.

View all posts by Helling, Derek