Chicago City Officials Initiate a Motion to Lift Sports Betting Ban

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Sports betting remains a prohibited activity within Chicago despite the state having a legalized sports betting. Now some city officials are hoping to see this end in the Windy City.

Aldermen Walter Burnett (27th Ward) and Brian Hopkins (2nd Ward), this week drafted a proposal that could see sports betting ban in the city end. In 2019, Governor J.B. Pritzker (D) signed a package that authorized five regional casinos in Chicago’s southern suburbs.
However, legal sports cannot happen until the Chicago city council passes such an ordinance. If the ordinance is approved, the city’s professional sports stadiums could pursue sports betting licenses.

The resolution covers Guaranteed Rate Field, United Center, Wrigley Field, Soldier Field, and Wintrust Arena. United Center and Wrigley are already considering setting a spot for gambling. However, the ordinance must pass for that to happen.

Under the state sports betting law, Chicago’s pro sports stadiums with a capacity of 17,000 people can apply for sportsbook permits. Wrigley Field, which is home to MLB clubs, wants a sports betting license.

The MLB franchise and DraftKings are partnering with DraftKings to build a retail sportsbook at Wrigley. If the city council lifts the ban on sports betting, Clubs and DraftKings will then need a permit from Illinois Gaming Board and MLB.

Teams and DraftKings will also need to pay a $10 million one-time licensing fee to the state. The sports betting ordinance has been submitted to the city council for consideration.

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