In the American city of Chicago and politicians are reportedly considering new legislation that would legalize sportsbetting and subsequently give five area professional sports facilities permission to host land-based sportsbooks.
According to a report from the Chicago Sun-Times newspaper, the measure was introduced by Alderman Walter Burnett (pictured) yesterday and seeks to revoke a long-running prohibition on sportsbetting for residents of ‘The Windy City’ and allow its local Wrigley Field, Soldier Field, Guaranteed Rate Field, Wintrust Arena and United Center stadiums to debut sports wagering facilities.
The newspaper reported that online and land-based sportsbetting was legalized across Illinois two years ago as part of a measure supported by governor Jay Robert Pritzker that furthermore opened up the way for as many as six new land-based casinos including one for Chicago. However, this alteration purportedly did not annul an existing home-rule injunction for the around 2.7 million inhabitants of the Midwestern state’s largest city that obliges sports wagering aficionados to either visit an out-of-town bookmaker or register for a mobile betting application.
The proposal from 57-year-old Burnett would reportedly change this state of affairs by legalizing sportsbetting for anyone over the age of 21 city-wide and allowing local venues with a capacity of over 17,000 to pay an inaugural $50,000 licensing fee for permission to offer sports wagering for one full year. The veteran Democrat’s legislation is currently before the Chicago City Council and would purportedly moreover permit such properties to renew their authorizations annually via the payment of a $25,000 duty.
The Chicago Sun Times reported that Burnett’s proposition would additionally place a cap of 15 wagering windows or kiosks on any facility where food and drink is not sold and grant local professional sports franchises the ability to partner with sportbetting firms so as to bring a sportsbook to ‘any permanent building or structure located within a five-block radius’ of their main property.
The newspaper reported that the sports wagering measure has been filed some ten months after the Chicago Cubs franchise of Major League Baseball (MLB), which plays its home games at the 41,000-seat Wrigley Field, forged a $100 million alliance with American online sportsbetting giant DraftKings Incorporated. The source explained that this collaboration could pave the way for Chicago’s first in-house sportsbook should local legislators agree to pass Burnett’s measure.
Burnett reportedly told the Chicago Sun-Times…
“Wrigley Field and the United Center have both been talking about setting up a spot for it so this ordinance needs to be passed in order for that to happen. In my community, it’ll bring more people to the United Center and they may spend more money. It helps with the sales tax and also the amusement that these guys pay so there is some upside.”