Cubs, DraftKings Partner For First Stadium-Adjacent Sportsbook In Illinois

Written By Derek Helling on September 3, 2020Last Updated on June 23, 2021

With the announcement of an eventual WrigleyField sportsbook at the Illinois venue, the ice is officially broken.

The Illinois Gaming Board ( IGB ) and those parties have a lot of questions because this agreement between DraftKings and the ChicagoCubs is the first of its kind in Illinois.

The Cubs and DraftKings announced their partnership in sports betting and their intention to provide in-person gaming at Chicago‘s Wrigley Field. But, that statement raises more questions than it does responses.

How a Wrigley Field casino is governed by law

When Illinois went through its last gambling expansion, it allowed companies and individuals who own venues like Wrigley to apply for sports betting master licenses. The only stipulations are that the venue’s capacity has to be at least 17,000, and the venue’s primary use can’t be for college sports.

The Cubs were apparently intrigued at first glance as Wrigley checks both of those containers. They now have a business partner to run that betting. That & rsquo is where the inquiries start.

That class of master license costs $10 million to acquire. Initially, the Cubs balked at that price, joining other professional sports teams in Chicago to ask for a break.

It’s uncertain whether the Ricketts family, which owns both the Cubs and Wrigley, will now pony up that cash. DraftKings may instead pay at least part of it.

How the IGB interprets another part of the act will determine how much money the Cubs shell out. The law grants facility casino operators a five-block exclusivity zone, which means that no other sportsbooks are permitted to operate within Wrigley’s boundaries.

The IGB, DraftKings, and Cubs will ultimately had to respond to a barrage of questions after that. The future of this endeavor will be determined by the IGB & rsquo’s decisions on a number of issues.

Issues for the IGB, DraftKings, and Cubs

First of all, the law doesn’t expressly state whether virtual gambling is included in that luxury area. To make that clearer, the IGB was draft a change to its rules, but there might be enforcement issues. Additionally, that might lead to a legitimate dispute from rival Illinois casinos.

The IGB may also need to ascertain the precise trigger for that article. That may depend on who pays for the master license as well as the location of the retail sportsbook & rsquo.

DraftKings might buy the license to satisfy the state’s online sportsbook branding rules. Those regulations require online sportsbooks’ facility partners to be primary in the branding of sports betting apps and websites, not the online operators.

The Cubs was theoretically buy, sell, and trade the stadium’s betting to DraftKings in exchange for their purchasing the license. DraftKings had become its own facility companion for online betting in that situation.

DraftKings might gain a lot from having its Wrigley has experience with branding at the forefront of bettors & rsquo. Such exposure could be very helpful in DraftKings’ efforts to expand its market share in one of the biggest betting markets in the country.

The IGB may rule that DraftKings is not an in-stadium book and that the exclusivity zone does not apply if the sportsbook is only adjacent to, rather than within, the & ldquo, friendly confines.

Also complicating this situation is that DraftKings already operates in Illinois.

How DraftKings at Casino Queen might be impacted by this offer

DraftKings Sportsbookis now accessible in Illinois on both an online and physical level. The two parts were introduced at the same time next month at DraftKings in East St. Louis‘ Casino Queen.

The Cubs or another Ricketts firm holding the king license might make more sense in that circumstance. Branding at Wrigley may still be included in DraftKings & rsquo, but only incidentally.

Moreover, that might avoid confusion. Bettors might be confused if there is a distinct DraftKings sports betting game within the five-block radius of Wrigley Field.

DraftKings would benefit greatly from putting its product in front of millions of people at Wrigley, but that association with Casino Queen might lose some of its value.

For example, until the state’s in-person registration requirement for online wagering (that’s currently suspended) expires, a retail location at Wrigley may drive more registrations than the property in East St. Louis.

But, doing so would necessitate that betting opening before that deadline. That & rsquo is currently scheduled for late next year. In either case, DraftKings likely wants to continue expanding while maintaining its present center partner in the state.

It & rsquo is unsure if the sportsbook will use the name and logo of the Cubs. There is also the issue of whether such a book may permit Wrigley players to wager on games.

Why sidelining and & lsquo is a problem with integrity in sports betting

When people place bets on in-game or live markets at events they are physically spectating, this is known as & ldquo, Sidelining, or %. For instance, sidelining bets on the outcomes of a specific game involving the Cubs in the stands at Wrigley Field is & ldquo. & rdquo,

As a result, bookmakers have an edge over other absentees. There is, at most, a brief delay from real-time to downloading or television broadcasts. Casinos may need even more time to get information about these shows from vendors.

This is why legal casinos in the US do not permit placing bets on specific sports pitches. They lack the technology to consistently bill for the delay, but a betting in Wrigley could take care of this problem.

No placing bets on any activities at Wrigley is a simple fix. Both Kids sports and college football games would be included in that.

Thus far, we are aware that DraftKings may be involved and that a Wrigley Field sportsbook does exist. We’ll quickly find out what that will look like and what it means for Illinois’ sports betting industry.

Helling, Derek Avatar
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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.

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