In a letter addressed to the Illinois Gaming Board, a legal representative of the Cubs, Blackhawks, Bears, White Sox and Bulls insisted that state regulators have to impose stricter rules to keep false competition away.
The legal framework for the recently legalized sports betting services in the state of Illinois is being set by the local gambling regulator. So, among other issues they have been having, professional sports teams are calling for the Illinois Gaming Board to roll out some rules that would guarantee that sports betting operations offered by the state Lottery’s kiosks and casinos would be out of their stadiums. Gaming Attorney Dona More wrote in her letter to the regulatory body that these issues must be resolved before the newly-legalized industry became operational.
Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker signed the proposed sports betting piece of legislation on June 28th, 2019, making the new form of gambling legal in the state. The local gambling regulatory body, however, still needs to roll out various rules to regulate the industry before sports betting is allowed to become operational.
Sports betting licenses for seven sports facilities, racetracks, off-track betting parlors and casinos have been allowed under the new gambling expansion law in the state of Illinois. This permission, however, makes it possible for betting services to be placed inside or within a five-block radius of the teams’ home parks and stadiums.
Games Integrity and Illinois’ Economic Interests Will Be Protected, Teams Say
Now, the attorney of the five teams mentioned above has insisted that each of them should be given the full control over a five-block area around their domain. If the state’s gambling regulator does what Ms. More has demanded of it, this would mean that the lottery sports betting terminals which were also unveiled as part of the gambling expansion would be suspended from entering each sports team’s designated area.
According to Ms. More, the lottery terminals, which could be installed at up to 5,000 convenience stores across Illinois, could significantly boost the wagering saturation statewide in case they are left unattended around teams’ parks and stadiums. Also, as explained by the teams’ legal representative in her letter to the state’s gambling regulator, rival sports betting operators should be prevented from advertising their sports betting facilities or services within the five-block radius.
Ms. More also wrote that the teams need to be given the exclusive right to permit sports betting activities in their protected home areas – a move which, according to her, would keep the integrity of the games, as well as the economic interests of the local community and the state of Illinois intact.
The teams made many recommendations to the Illinois Gaming Board, including a request for sports betting licenses to follow teams in case they decide to relocate to a new stadium on the territory of the state.