- DraftKings Inc. is hoping to build a sportsbook at the Wrigley Field, home of the Chicago Cubs.
- However, Chicago City Hall maintains that the city is not ready to turn its “neighborhoods into the Las Vegas Strip.”
- The daily fantasy sports game provider could also develop the sportsbook at Allegiant Stadium, but the current lease agreement at the venue prohibits gaming.
- DraftKings CEO Matt Kalish suggested earlier in the year that the company could seek a license in Silver State and partner with a casino firm to operate a sportsbook there.
Daily fantasy sports game provider DraftKings Inc. is hoping to build a sportsbook near or at some of the most sacred ground set apart for the Major League, the Wrigley Field, home of the Chicago Cubs.
However, Chicago City Hall must contribute towards the deal. Talking to Chicago Sun-Times, Mayor Lori Lightfoot said they were not ready to turn their “neighborhoods into the Las Vegas Strip.”
The move would make Wrigley Field the second major sports venue to host a sportsbook. Illinois now allows gaming at any venue with a base capacity of 17,000 people.
Capital One Arena in Washington, DC, the home to the NHL’s Washington Capitals and the NBA’s Washington Wizards, has a William Hill US-operated in-stadium sportsbook.
The availability of betting on-site enhances the fan experience, according to sportsbook managers.
An industry analyst says that it is the right time to lift the ban on offering a sportsbook at Allegiant Stadium since these establishments being in stadiums have become a standard.
However, director of government affairs for Las Vegas-based Global Market Advisors LLC Brendan Bussmann says the “concern over stadium venues is the fact that gaming is about finding suitable individuals to be licensed to operate sportsbooks.”
He added that the gaming operator should come up to the same standards a team or venue does.
Unfortunately, the biggest challenge against on-site betting at Allegiant Stadium is the lease agreement between the Las Vegas Stadium Events (a division of the Las Vegas Raiders) and the Las Vegas Stadium Authority. It prohibits any form of gaming at the venue, including the maintenance or operation of gaming establishments.
The parties signed the lease agreement about a month and a half before the US Supreme Court annulled the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act in 2018, thereby deciding that sports wagering was legal.
If an amendment was to happen, the likely entity to gain licensure would be the Stadium Authority. Since the authority has at least two of its members (CEO for MGM Resorts Internation William Hornbuckle and Caesars Entertainment board member Jan Jones Blackhurst) licensed, it wouldn’t face licensing difficulties. However, regulators could call the team forward if the latter intends to receive gaming revenue.
Bussmann said running a sportsbook at Allegiant Stadium wasn’t necessary since most fans who want to bet prefer doing so via their smartphones’ apps.
DraftKings operates legal sportsbooks in eight states but has never obtained licensure from Nevada regulators. Earlier this year, the company CEO Matt Kalish hinted that they could seek a license in the state and partner with a casino firm to operate a sportsbook in Silver State.