Chicago’s sports betting ban may be lifted under proposed ordinance

Chicago’s sports betting ban may be lifted under proposed ordinance


A Chicago sports betting ban could be lifted if a proposed ordinance is approved by the Chicago City Council.

During Wednesday’s 5-plus hour council meeting, Alderman Walter Burnett (27th) proposed an ordinance to lift the city’s sports betting ban, which would allow Chicago sports stadiums and arenas to purchase sports betting licenses. The ordinance also would allow a proposed Chicago casino to purchase a license to allow sports betting for its visitors.

The ordinance was referred to the Rules Committee and no vote was taken.

Chicago sports betting allowed in stadiums?

According to the Chicago Sun Times, Burnett’s ordinance would authorize sports betting in professional sports arenas and stadiums located within the city limits. This would include Soldier Field, Wrigley Field, Guaranteed Rate Field, the United Center and Wintrust Arena. Sports betting would be allowed in these facilities, as well as in a permanent structure or building located within five blocks of those sports facilities.

Wrigley Field and DraftKings currently have a standing agreement for a partnership that would allow DraftKings to pursue a first-of-its-kind sportsbook at Wrigley Field, with online access available in the surrounding Wrigleyville area. The agreement was reached in September of 2020.

The ordinance allows for no more than 15 sports betting kiosks at these facilities, unless food and drink is also being sold for customers. The city would issue two types of sports betting licenses under a “primary” and “secondary” category, with primary licenses starting at $50,000 a year and secondary licenses starting at $25,000 a year.

Possible boon for Illinois sports betting?

The Chicago Sun Times also reported the ordinance will allow a proposed new Chicago casino to offer sports betting to its visitors when it is constructed. The casino was approved for the city in 2019 in the same legislation that approved Illinois sports betting.

If approved, it can only be good news for the state’s sports betting program. In May, Illinois reported $506.3 million in total sports betting handle, a decrease of 5.6% from its April total. However, it was good for the country’s second highest total, just behind New Jersey.

A look at the top performers in May:

  • New Jersey: $814 million.
  • Illinois: $506.3 million
  • Nevada: $478 million
  • Pennsylvania: $447 million
  • Michigan: $258 million

Online sports betting in the state still has no online registration for new user accounts.

However, if a DraftKings sportsbook is constructed at Wrigley Field, Chicago residents could sign up for online accounts at the baseball field. As it stands, customers must register for a particular app at its casino partner’s brick-and-mortar sportsbook.

For example, if a resident currently wanted to register for the DraftKings Sportsbook Illinois app, prospective users would need to drive to the Casino Queen Sportsbook in East St. Louis to activate an account.


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