Currently, the city has five major venues that play home to a number of well-known franchises; not least the Chicago Bulls NBA basketball team in addition to MLB’s Chicago White Sox and Cubs, NFL’s Chicago Bears and the Chicago Blackhawks of the NHL.
As this was put to a vote in the joint committee, it was approved with a score of 19-7 and in anticipation, the chairman of the Cubs’ Tom Rickets intimated that there was already a deal in place with DraftKings in the region of $100 million that would see the venue of Wrigley Field becoming the first home to a sportsbook in the MLB.
Substantial plans in place
With the approval passed in the city, the venues in and around Chicago can push ahead with renovation plans, or indeed negotiations with sportsbooks in the US to house their sports betting terminals so that fans can partake on game days.
Rickets commented: “With your approval of this ordinance, construction would begin immediately with the aim of opening a restaurant with a sportsbook in time for the 2023 season. This will create construction jobs and revenues now and permanent jobs in just over a year.
“This is not a casino or even a mini-casino. It’s a sports bar-restaurant. It only allows for fans who wish to place a wager to have a window to do so. I expect many fans will come to the sportsbook and never place a bet.”
Chairwoman of the Ethics Committee, which had an active role in the voting process, Michele Smith eluded to the fact that the revenue from this will be particularly useful for the city, revealing that the fire and police pension funds were near to insolvency.
Bringing sportsbooks to sports fans
Despite online sportsbooks being made legal in the state, it remains to be seen just how many of the city’s sports fans actually engage in sports betting. This means that the opening up of sports venues to allow physical betting terminals of sportsbooks will help to provide just how popular that they are.
It could be that the occasion entices people to place a bet, having been caught up in the excitement, or the distinctive advertising and marketing may play a part. Certainly, the stats will be interesting, especially if it emerges which sports franchise in Chicago takes the most bets.
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