New Ordinance Would Lift Chicago Sports Betting Ban, A Key Step Toward In-Stadium Sportsbooks

Written By Joe Boozell on July 22, 2021Last Updated on August 24, 2021
united center chicago sportsbook ordinance

Alderman Walter Burnett( 27th ) is proposing a law that would end Chicago’s ban on sports betting. Wholesale casinos at Wrigley Field, the United Center, etc. may be made possible by this.

Though it may seem like a formality, this step is crucial for introducing retail sports betting in Chicago.

The Sports Wagering Act allows betting at sporting facilities in Illinois. However, for this to occur, Chicago must remove its prohibition on sports gambling.

According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Burnett said:

They have been discussing establishing a location for it, including Wrigley and the United Center. Therefore, this regulation must be passed for that to happen. We will see where the council wants to take it from there.

The city will levy a license fee of $50,000 and an annual renewal charge of $25,000, excluding the fees imposed by the Illinois Gaming Board (IGB).

Betting on sports would be disallowed from dusk until 10 a.m. from Monday to Thursday, from dusk until 9 a.m. on Friday and Saturday, and from 1 a.m. to 9 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

Each location can have up to 15 restaurants, unless those businesses provide food and beverages.

Lori Lightfoot, the Mayor of the city, appears to be in favor of the Chicago zoning ordinance. When questioned on Wednesday about whether Chicago sportsbooks would adversely affect the city’s casino project, she stated:

“Primarily, sports betting is a legal practice in our state, ratified by the General Assembly in 2019, a decision I fully support. I don’t believe it will sabotage our plans for a future casino, and we will take measures to ensure that it doesn’t.”

A physical casino in the United Center?

Burnett represents the district where the Chicago Bulls and Blackhawks reside, which is near the United Center. His quote above subtly includes a mention of a proposed casino at the United Center.

For the first time, the United Center has confirmed its interest. Currently, we only have details about the plans of Wrigley Field.

Who is most likely to operate a sportsbook at the United Center? The probable answer is FanDuel, as they lead the market in Illinois in terms of revenue.

FanDuel was not the only betting partner for the Bulls, but it did have a significant and noticeable baseline advertisement for home games from 2020 to 2021. Jerry Reinsdorf, the owner of both FanDuel and the White Sox, has a similar arrangement with both entities.

The United Center is jointly owned by the Bulls and Blackhawks, not by Reinsdorf. In the event of potential betting at the United Center, FanDuel should be considered as the leading candidate.

Considering that the combined fan base of the Bulls and Blackhawks exceeds that of the White Sox in the area, it is likely that the area is more appealing than the Guaranteed Rate Field.

What is known about a Chicago Wrigley Field casino?

In September 2020, Wrigley Field and the Cubs swiftly capitalized on a Chicago retail sportsbook. They negotiated a deal with DraftKings to construct a facility immediately adjacent to the Addison red line train stop.

This business partnership is worth $100 million. Cubs official Julian Green made the following statement about the forthcoming casino:

DraftKings asserts that if they had a venue where groups could watch the Super Bowl in winter or March Madness, along with a choice of food and beverages and betting options, it would be their largest casino in the country.

The IGB and the city of Chicago must give their approval for Wrigley and DraftKings, which could potentially take some time. This is a requirement above all else.

Chicago residents would already have access to wireless sports betting if they took advantage of the brief online registration period.

They should have the ability to step into their favorite team’s arena and place a personal bet in the years to come.

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Boozell, Joe

Joe Boozell has been a college sports writer for since 2015. His work has also been featured on Bleacher Report,, and As a youngster, Boozell competed against Anthony Davis and Frank Kaminsky in the basketball scene of Chicagoland, which was quite an experience.

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