Major League Baseball (MLB) franchise the Chicago Cubs is reportedly considering offering sportsbook services at Wrigley Field and locations surrounding its ballpark.
ESPN.com said betting windows, automated kiosks and a dedicated sportsbook venue inside the stadium are being considered by the Cubs and other Chicago professional sports teams, as Illinois prepares to become the latest US state to legalise sports betting.
Earlier this month, the Illinois legislature approved SB 690, a bill that authorises regulated sports betting. It is awaiting the final sign-off from Governor J.B. Pritzker, who was originally in favour of a change in legislation.
ESPN said that the legislation, backed by MLB, the National Basketball Association (NBA) and other sports stakeholders, will allow facilities with a capacity greater than 17,000 to apply for a licence to offer sports betting inside their premises, or within a five-block radius of their venues.
Soldier Field, home of NFL American football team the Chicago Bears; United Center, which houses the NBA’s Bulls and National Hockey League’s (NHL) Blackhawks; and Guaranteed Rate Field, home of MLB’s White Sox; are also said to be considering their options when it comes to sports betting.
MLB and the NBA both currently prohibit sportsbooks inside team venues, but are said to be reviewing the Illinois legislation. “We will work with our clubs to explore the opportunities presented by the rapidly evolving sports betting landscape in a socially responsible manner,” a spokesperson for MLB told ESPN.
In March, Ted Leonsis, owner of Monumental Sports & Entertainment, revealed plans to house a new sportsbook at Capital One Arena in what would mark the first space of its kind in the US. Monumental owns Capital One Arena, as well as the Washington Capitals NHL franchise and the Washington Wizards NBA team, which both play at the facility.
Leonsis’ comments came after the D.C. Council voted to legalise sports betting in February.
Image: Chicago Cubs