Another Stadium Sportsbook Announced For Illinois Sports Betting

Written By Pat Evans on February 1, 2022
Illinois sports betting

FanDuel is bringing a new retail sportsbook to Illinois sports betting.

FanDuel announced a deal Monday with the United Center to open a retail FanDuel Sportsbook at the home of the Chicago Bulls and Chicago Blackhawks. While the partners wait for necessary approvals, FanDuel will open a non-wagering space at the United Center.

“Chicago sports fans are some of the most loyal and passionate in the world and plans for our sportsbook lounge inside the United Center reflect their excitement,” FanDuel Group CEO Amy Howe said in a statement. “Our team has a track record of delivering incredible retail locations for fans, and we can’t wait to make this sportsbook lounge the premier destination for Chicago sports fans and a place where they can fully experience the FanDuel brand.”

FanDuel joins Chicago sports betting stadium plans

While Illinois sports betting legislation passed in 2019 allowed stadium sportsbooks, the Chicago City Council had to approve them for the city, which it did in December 2021. The city will impose a 2% tax on sportsbook revenue.

The approval was not without opposition, largely led by Rush Street Gaming co-founder Neil Bluhm. He claimed retail sportsbooks would cannibalize customers from a proposed Chicago casino, which Rush Street has submitted two bids to operate. Bluhm is also an ardent supporter of in-person registration for sports betting.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot came out in support of the ordinance in November, as did professional sports team owners in the city including Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf.

“What is perplexing is that Neil Bluhm, who does not want our buildings to have sportsbooks, met with us on several occasions seeking to operate sportsbooks in our buildings,” Reinsdorf said at a council meeting in December.

Other Illinois stadium sportsbooks

The city ordinance allows for sportsbooks within a five-block radius at four other professional venues in the city:

  • Wrigley Field (Chicago Cubs)
  • Guaranteed Rate Field (Chicago White Sox)
  • Soldier Field (Chicago Bears)
  • Wintrust Arena (Chicago Sky)

Even before the city council’s decision, DraftKings Sportsbook announced plans for a sportsbook at Wrigley Field in September 2020. The operator hopes to have it open before the 2023 MLB season.

FanDuel Illinois sports betting status

The new United Center sportsbook will be a two-story venue adjacent to the arena’s atrium, and will include “state-of-the-art viewing and sports wagering technology.” The sportsbook is an expansion of the operator’s existing partnerships with the Bulls and Blackhawks.

FanDuel also has a sportsbook at the former Fairmount Race Track, now known as the FanDuel Sportsbook and Horse Racing.

In the most recent Illinois sports betting revenue report, FanDuel was No. 2 in the online market share with 28.8% of the $746 million bet online in November. The state shattered its sportsbook revenue record generating $78.2 million, including FanDuel’s $30.2 million.

Illinois sports betting growth

Last week, BetMGM was approved as the seventh online sportsbook in the state after a 16-month delay. The operator plans to launch when the state’s in-person registration requirement expires March 5.

The rule change could bring additional growth to a market that already is among the top in the legal US sports betting landscape.

Stadium sportsbook trend growing

In Arizona, FanDuel opened a sportsbook at the Footprint Center in partnership with the Phoenix Suns. The Arizona market will be full of venue sportsbooks, including Caesars at Chase Field and BetMGM at State Farm Stadium.

On Monday, BetMGM opened its retail sportsbook at Nationals Park in Washington DC. That sportsbook joins Caesars Sportsbook at Capital One Arena in the DC sports betting market.

Last year, legislation in Maryland and Ohio granted sports betting licenses to professional teams in the states.

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Pat Evans

Pat Evans is a Grand Rapids, Michigan-based reporter covering sports business. Evans previously worked at Front Office Sports and the Grand Rapids Business Journal. He has authored two books: Grand Rapids Beer and Nevada Beer.

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