Could you soon place bets at Allstate Arena in Rosemont?

  • The 18,500-seat capacity Allstate Arena in Rosemont is certainly big enough to host sports betting -- under terms of state legislation -- but the bill also requires a professional team to be housed there. Village officials believe the AHL's Chicago Wolves qualify.

    The 18,500-seat capacity Allstate Arena in Rosemont is certainly big enough to host sports betting -- under terms of state legislation -- but the bill also requires a professional team to be housed there. Village officials believe the AHL's Chicago Wolves qualify. Daily Herald file photo

  • The 18,500-seat capacity Allstate Arena in Rosemont is certainly big enough to host sports betting -- under terms of state legislation -- but the bill also requires a professional team to be housed there. Village officials believe the AHL's Chicago Wolves qualify.

    The 18,500-seat capacity Allstate Arena in Rosemont is certainly big enough to host sports betting -- under terms of state legislation -- but the bill also requires a professional team to be housed there. Village officials believe the AHL's Chicago Wolves qualify. Courtesy of Chicago Wolves

 
 
Updated 6/4/2019 6:38 PM

Could patrons of the Allstate Arena soon be able to place bets at hockey games or even other events at the Rosemont venue?

It's possible, say village officials, who believe they're eligible to host sports betting at the village-owned stadium. They may apply for a license under terms of the massive state gambling package approved over the weekend.

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"If there's an opportunity for us to bring people to our community where it's not detrimental to the moral fabric of the community, sure, we're going to look at it," Mayor Brad Stephens said Tuesday, as he and a team of lawyers continued to review the 816-page bill awaiting Gov J.B. Pritzker's signature.

The legislation would allow up to seven sports facilities statewide -- with a capacity of at least 17,000 -- to get sports betting licenses. Allstate Arena has 18,500 seats.

Those stadiums must also host what the bill defines as a "sports event" -- a professional or collegiate sport, or motor race event. The Allstate Arena is home of the Chicago Wolves, the American Hockey League franchise that is an affiliate of the National Hockey League's Vegas Golden Knights.

Stephens believes the Wolves should qualify as a professional team, but said it would likely be up to the state's Joint Committee on Administrative Rules to interpret the legislation and make a determination of who's in and out.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Other stadiums eligible for sports betting would include the United Center, Soldier Field, Wrigley Field, Guaranteed Rate Field, SeatGeek Stadium in Bridgeview, Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet and World Wide Technology Raceway near St. Louis.

Rosemont's new 6,300-seat Impact Field baseball stadium, the 5,665-seat Schaumburg Boomers Stadium, the 10,293-capacity Northwestern Medicine Field in Geneva, and the 11,800-seat Sears Centre Arena in Hoffman Estates would be ineligible.

Were Rosemont to apply for a $10 million master sports wagering license and be approved by the Illinois Gaming Board, betting parlors could either be installed within the Allstate Arena or somewhere within a five-block radius of the venue, under terms of the bill.

That means it's possible to place a bricks-and-mortar wagering facility nearby, where gamblers could go to place bets even when the stadium isn't open. And when it is, bettors wouldn't have to compete for parking at a sold-out show or concert, Stephens said.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

He said the village likely would partner with an operator to run its wagering facility, which is permitted by the legislation.

Village officials began monitoring negotiations over a gambling bill in Springfield when there was initial discussion about teams receiving royalties, and they thought the Wolves could be included. That provision eventually was dropped, but Stephens said Rosemont continued to stay engaged after learning of the minimum 17,000-seat capacity requirement.

Under the bill, the state would take 15% of revenue collected at sports venues after winnings paid to wagerers. That rate is 17% in Cook County, with the extra 2% going toward Cook County circuit court, state's attorney and public defender costs, officials said.

Stadium betting licenses expire after four years and could be renewed for $1 million.

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