Rosemont, IL could pursue a sports-betting license for Allstate Arena, as local officials are expressing interest after legislative approval of a state gambling law.
Over the weekend, Illinois lawmakers approved legislation that allows up to seven facilities within the state to obtain a sports betting-license. To qualify, a venue must have a capacity of at least 17,000 and host a sports event.
As the bill awaits the signature of Illinois governor J.B. Pritzker, who has been a proponent of the legislation, Rosemont officials are showing some interest in seeking a license for Allstate Arena. Should they move forward with their pursuit, Rosemont officials could apply for a $10 million master sports wagering license that–if approved by the Illinois Gaming Board–would allow for a sports-betting facility either inside Allstate Arena or within a five-block radius of the venue.
Rosemont officials believe that Allstate Arena is eligible, as it exceeds capacity standards outlined in the bill and is the full-time home of minor-league hockey’s Chicago Wolves (AHL). More from the Daily Herald:
“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.
Under the legislation, betting licenses would be valid for years. Upon expiration, they could be renewed for $1 million.
Legalized sports betting has become more widespread since May 2018, when the Supreme Court decided to rule the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992–which banned sports betting in most circumstances–as unconstitutional. That decision effectively paved the way for states to legalize sports betting individually, and more than a dozen have done so since the ruling.
Image courtesy Allstate Arena.