Lightfoot: There Is ‘Zero Indication’ Stadium Sportsbooks Would Cannibalize Chicago Casino Revenue

Written By Joe Boozell on December 1, 2021Last Updated on December 20, 2021
wrigley field

The notion that stadium financial sportsbooks do reduce casino revenue is not one that Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot supports.

The city is finally making progress on its casino license project, as Chicago now has five bids to choose from. Companies will pitch their plans to the public in mid-December.

One of those companies is Rush Street Gaming, which was co-founded by Neil Bluhm. Bluhm recently came out against Chicago stadium sportsbooks, believing there is too much customer overlap. He said:

& ldquo, A gambler who also wagers on tables and slot machines is very likely to bet on sports. & nbsp, It & rsquo, s 20 % of our business & hellip, this isn’t, according to some fictitious discussion. & rdquo,

Earlier this week, Lightfoot fired back. She said via the Chicago Sun-Times:

Some people who already use sportsbooks at their own games and are attempting to destroy them in Chicago have issued some severe instructions. They haven’t presented any convincing proof that Andhellip will miraculously cannibalize a Chicago game. We & rsquo, & hellip, has not observed any evidence that this is the case. & rdquo,

Lightfoot went on:

We’ve heard a lot of talk from people who would benefit from preventing the sports teams from having their own sportsbook, including & ldquo and We & rsquo. However, chat is speak. I & rsquo is about facts, data, and mdash, to put it simply. & rdquo,

Sporting venues in Illinois may submit applications for sports betting certificates under the Sports Wagering Act. The concept has received public support from Lightfoot, but Chicago also needs to lift its ban on sports betting.

The city hopes to choose a Chicago casino license winner in the first quarter of 2022. Bluhm’s Rush Street Gaming is responsible for two of the five bids.

Therefore, it is noteworthy to witness the Lightfoot and Bluhm’s people disagreement.

casinos in Chicago stadiums

Chicago would be one of the primary cities in the US to have stadium sportsbooks, even though it wouldn’t be the city’s first. Regulations allowing for the growth of gaming in 2019 included the concept.

The city needs to pass an ordinance to make stadium sportsbooks a reality, and Alderman Walter Burnett introduced one in July. The Chicago Cubs already have a deal with DraftKings to build a sportsbook at Wrigley Field. We also know that the United Center wants to open a retail sportsbook, though it does not yet have an official partner.

Eventually, that partner will likely be FanDuel.

Bluhm, a tycoon with significant influence in the Illinois game sector, is against stadium sportsbooks. What happens then may serve as a check of his level of influence.

Rush Street faces rivalry for the city’s game.

Additionally, bids for the Chicago casino license were submitted by Bally & rsquo, s, and Hard Rock. The two bids made by Bally & rsquo are regarded as the biggest threat to Rush Street winning the license.

Hard Rock also has a possibility, but its idea seems more improbable than the other four.

Could Bally & rsquo’s chances of getting the license be increased by Bluhm and Lightfoot publicly quarreling over a crucial issue?

The connection between the mayor’s department and others The Bluhm home is complex as well. Because of the close ties, some people not too long ago believed Rush Street to be a shoo-in for the certificate.

Leslie Bluhm, daughter of Neil, is one of Lightfoot’s biggest political donors. There was previous speculation that nobody else would bid for the license due to Rush Street’s perceived inside track.

This summer, Lightfoot even felt the need to speak with his hometown favorites, & ldquo. Finally, she said:

There is a brief discussion about this, I’m told, Andldquo, There & rsquo. The RFP ( Request for Proposals ) is available to all. There are no classics from home. For people across the nation who understands the value of being in a city like Chicago, we want to make sure we get the best-in-class opportunities. & rdquo,

It will be fascinating to watch how the Chicago casino process develops, It & rsquo.

Photo taken by Paul Beaty 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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