BREAKING: Chicago City Council Lifts Sports Betting Ban, Which Means Stadium Sportsbooks Are A Go

Written By Joe Boozell on December 15, 2021Last Updated on December 20, 2021
Wrigley Field

The Chicago City Council decided on Wednesday to lift the city & rsquo’s ban on sports betting, which will allow retail sportsbooks to enter Chicago stadiums.

A 2 % income will also be applied to the proceeds from sports gambling.

Facility sportsbooks are permitted in Illinois under the 2019 Sports Wagering Act. But, there was a sports betting restrictions in place in Chicago, which had to be lifted in order to move forward.

Ald. Walter Burnett’sordinance passed at Wednesday’s meeting. At Monday’s Zoning and License meeting, several Chicago sports franchise owners — Tom Ricketts (Cubs), Rocky Wirtz (Blackhawks) and Jerry Reinsdorf (Bulls, White Sox) spoke on behalf of stadium betting.

Ricketts also spoke on Wednesday. The Cubs already have a deal in place with DraftKings to build a sportsbook at Wrigley Field.

This process hasn’t exactly gone off without a hitch, with some prominent officials and business owners formally sniping at one another.

Here & rsquo describes how we got to this point and what sports venues in Chicago will look like in the future.

Bluhm was the most outspoken opponent of Chicago’s stadium activities gambling.

Neil Bluhm, the co-founder of Rush Street Gaming, adamantly opposed Chicago stadium betting. Rush Street is responsible for two of the city’s five casino bids, and Bluhm did not want the competition from sporting venues.

Bluhm saidNovember:

& ldquo, A gambler who also bets on tables and slot machines is very likely to be a person who plays sports. It’s 20 % of our business, and this is just a speculative debate, nbsp. & rdquo,

Mayor Lori Lightfoot has long supported Chicago stadium wagering. She replied to Bluhm’s comments:

There have been some ominous warnings given by some who already use sportsbooks at their own casinos and who are attempting to destroy them here in Chicago. & ldquo, There & rsquo. They have not presented any convincing proof that & hellip will somehow cannibalize a casino in Chicago. We & rsquo, & hellip, has not observed any evidence that this is the case. & rdquo,

and added:

We’ve heard a lot of talk by people who would benefit from preventing the sports teams from having their own sportsbook, including & ldquo and We & rsquo. However, talk is speak. Facts and data & mdash, that’s what I’m about, I & rsquo. & rdquo,

Reinsdorf had private conversations with Bluhm at the Monday & rsquo meeting and questioned his motivations. The owner of the Bulls and White Sox said:

& ldquo, It’s puzzling that Neil Bluhm, who opposes having sportsbooks in our buildings, has repeatedly met with us in an effort to operate them. And that was a long time after Chicago’s blackjack was approved. & rdquo,

He went on:

& ldquo, At the time, he was unsure of his choice to run a game in Chicago and had no worries that the person chosen to do so would be cannibalized in any way by these books. Would we be having this conference today if he had managed to get his way up then? & rdquo,

Bluhm claimed that the city would be opening five”& ldquo ,” or” mini-casino and / or ,” but he did not refute Reinsdorf & rsquo’s assertion. A sportsbook, according to Ricketts, would be more of an & ldquo, a sports bar-restaurant, and he made some assumptions. that a large number of people will enter them without wagering.

What does the future hold for us?

The following locations can then offer retail sports betting now that the law has been passed:

  • Field Wrigley
  • Discipline with a Guaranteed Rate
  • United Center
  • Soldier Field
  • Arena Wintrust

Ricketts stated that they will start building their betting with DraftKings right away in the hopes that it will debut before the 2023 campaign.

The other venues don’t all have formal alliances. However, it won’t get shocking to see some new offers in the near future.

The Bulls and White Sox have heavy FanDuel branding at their games, which is worth noting. However, the Bulls and Blackhawks share the United Center.

It appears likely that at some point, four of these five venues will offer retail sports betting. Soldier Field is a mystery, as the Bears might move to Arlington Heights.

Regarding the financial ramifications, Bluhm said:

If we are correct, the city could lose between$ 10 million and$ 12 million annually, which could make the new Chicago casino less successful. & rdquo,

The city estimates that these sportsbooks will bring in just $400,000-$500,000 in revenue each year. With that said, this is a fairly new concept that is hard to project accurately.

Regardless of who’s right, sports wagering is coming to Chicago stadiums. The Illinois sports betting market is booming, and the best is yet to come.

Photo taken by Kiichiro Sato for AP Photo
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Boozell, Joe

Boozell, Joe has also been a college sports writer for since 2015. His work has also appeared in Bleacher Report, and Growing up, Boozell squared off against both Anthony Davis and Frank Kaminsky in the Chicagoland basketball scene … you can imagine how that went.

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