Cubs, Bulls and Bears games eligible for in-person sports betting under new law
New change in law paves the way for sports betting at Wrigley Field, Soldier Field, and the United Center, among other venues.
Legalized sports betting could be coming to Illinois’ most iconic sports venues.
Wrigley Field is one of the eligible locations that may receive a license for sports betting inside the park. Other popular Chicago sport venues that are able to apply for licenses include Soldier Field, home of the Bears, the United Center, home of the Bulls and Blackhawks, as well as Guaranteed Rate Field, home of the White Sox. Also eligible outside the city are SeatGeek Stadium in Bridgeview, the soon-to-be-former home of the Chicago Fire, the Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet and World Wide Technology Raceway in the Metro East.
House Amendment 2 to Senate Bill 690 moves to allow sports betting at or within a five-block radius of a sport venue that seats more than 17,000 people. Lawmakers in the Illinois House of Representatives passed HB 690 June 1, voting 87-27. The state Senate approved June 2, sending it to the governor’s desk. Gov. J.B. Pritzker has indicated he will sign the bill.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot initially expressed her disapproval of the sports betting bill, opposing sports betting at venues like Soldier Field and the United Center. Following discussions with Pritzker, the two came to an understanding.
“We have agreed to allow a limited of betting at sports venues subject to local oversight and control,” Lightfoot said in a statement supporting SB 690.
However, popular sports online-only betting platforms DraftKings and FanDuel will be frozen out of the market for 18 months, as SB 690 grants casinos first crack at the mobile market, which is projected to account for three-fourths of bets.
In May 2018, the United States Supreme Court struck down a federal law that effectively banned sports betting across the county. The ruling in Murphy v. National Collegiate Athletic Association opened the door to legalized sports betting across the country.
Currently, eight states have “full-scale” legalized sports betting: Nevada, New Mexico, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Mississippi, Delaware, and Rhode Island, according to ESPN. Illinois will join seven other states that have recently passed a sport betting bill, like neighboring states Iowa and Indiana.
While Iowa’s rulemaking process is still being finalized, residents may currently wager on sporting events after legalized sports betting was signed into law in May. Indiana also legalized sports betting in May, but the law is effective September 1.
While an official start date is not known, sports fans can get ready for sportsbooks and betting kiosks at their favorite teams’ venues as sports betting comes to Illinois.