Could we see betting windows at the Friendly Confines? It’s all talk now, but there are reports the Chicago Cubs are considering a Wrigley Field sports book, as the state of Illinois moves forward with legalized sports betting.
With more and more states legalizing sports betting, there’s a potential gold rush of sports betting for facilities managers. Though MLB and NBA prohibit sports books in their ballparks and arenas, the NHL does indeed allow betting “lounges,” with the result being a big William Hill US presence at Prudential Arena, home of the New Jersey Devils and potential sports books at Capital One Arena and Madison Square Garden.
At this time it’s just talk about a potential Wrigley Field sports book, as ESPN is reporting the Cubs are exploring their options, which could involve ballpark kiosks, betting windows or even a sports-book lounge. There is a rich irony to the Cubs adding legalized betting to Wrigley Field, as the outfield bleachers were known for decades as a great place to lay down odds during the course of a game. (Think Bleacher Bums translated to real life.) Might as well give the Cubs a taste as well. From ESPN:
The Cubs declined to comment, and there are no official plans, only preliminary discussions at this point. Who would run the sportsbook and which parties would receive a cut of the action is unknown.
“Pen hasn’t hit paper yet,” a source familiar with the team’s thinking told ESPN.
Any sports book or betting lounge at Wrigley Field would probably not be a long-term play unless a gambling outfield assumes some sponsorship. It’s expected that in the end the vast majority of sports betting will come via betting apps–and you don’t need a ballpark lounge to place a bet there.