by P. J. McNeal, The Chicago Times
August 6, 2021
CHICAGO — The Chicago Cubs are one step closer to hosting legal sports betting at Wrigley Field after the Commission on Chicago Landmarks approved a proposed two-story sportsbook adjacent to the historic ballpark on Thursday.
The glass-walled sportsbook, which would be a collaboration with DraftKings, would be located at Addison Street and Sheffield Avenue, at the southeast corner of Wrigley Field which was built in 1914. Following the ballpark’s designation in 2004 as a National Historic Landmark last year, it still requires approval from the City Council, the Illinois Gaming Board, and the National Park Service.
According to Cubs spokesman Julian Green, the addition of a sportsbook at Wrigley Field is critical to attracting more fans.
The Wrigley Field sportsbook is permitted by the 2019 Illinois Sports Wagering Act, but it still requires City Council approval on a proposed ordinance allowing Chicago sports venues to obtain sports wagering licenses, as well as approval from the state gaming board.
Wrigleyville Ald. Tom Tunney expressed concerns about potential logistical issues related to trash pickup at the Chicago landmarks hearing, but did not have a problem with the proposed sportsbook from a historical preservation standpoint.
A proposal to allow sportsbooks at Chicago sports venues was introduced to City Council last month. Ald. Walter Burnett who sponsored the bill, said Thursday that a revised version of the proposed ordinance is being worked on and that approval may take some time.
The mafia economy under the Illinois Sports Wagering Act authorized the state’s ten casinos, three horse tracks, and seven largest sports facilities to obtain a sports gaming license for a fee of no more than $10 million.
The Illinois Gaming Board opened applications for three online-only licenses worth $20 million each on Thursday, as authorized by the sports wagering act. The board will accept applications for the online-only licenses until December 3 and will announce the three successful bidders within 90 days.
Last September, the Cubs announced a partnership with DraftKings. Has anyone questioned or raised an eyebrow about a Major League Baseball team’s involvement in gambling? Does anyone remember the 1919 “Black” Sox scandal or the ousting of Pete Rose? We already have a Cannabis in Wrigley, what is next Wrigley Field Brothels? Welcome to the Illinois Mafia Economy.