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Mayor Lightfoot opposes sports betting proposal

Friday, May 31, 2019

* Statement from Mayor Lori Lightfoot…

I strongly support a gaming bill that directs a new casino and dollars to the city of Chicago. However, I oppose the inclusion of a provision that would open up sports wagering in venues like Soldier Field. Such a proposal has the potential to undermine the viability of any Chicago-based casino through the diversion of customers and revenue from a casino. Because the impact of sports wagering in stadiums has not been fully vetted or analyzed, I cannot support the bill in its current form and urge the deletion of this stadium-betting provision.

Essentially what’s she’s saying here is that Soldier Field and United Center sports betting could eat into Chicago casino profits.

I’m hearing that the sports betting provision could be stripped out of the gaming bill this weekend. Stay tuned.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

19 Comments
  1. - Charlie Brown - Friday, May 31, 19 @ 9:57 pm:

    Does she not have any lobbyists in Springfield?!?


  2. - Jrog - Friday, May 31, 19 @ 10:00 pm:

    So what is the point of the gambling bill then? It all started with sports then everyone piled on with more slots. Now they taking out sports…sigh


  3. - Ok - Friday, May 31, 19 @ 10:00 pm:

    And the Lightfoot drops again.


  4. - Jimmy the Gent - Friday, May 31, 19 @ 10:01 pm:

    After Ed Burke resigns as alderman he can run the City Casino


  5. - Livco - Friday, May 31, 19 @ 10:03 pm:

    Last I checked, Soldier Field is owned by the Chicago Park District. Isn’t there some path forward? Lots of opposition bricks; what’s her alternative?


  6. - Jrog - Friday, May 31, 19 @ 10:06 pm:

    it wouldn’t do anything to a downtown casino, so she must be angling for something else like more ownership i guess…and without sports I would assume you lose Neil Bluhm backing…hard for me to see a way around this one, will see i guess


  7. - Ok - Friday, May 31, 19 @ 10:08 pm:

    Never bet on a gaming bill. There are never any paths forward for 71, that’s why it never happens.


  8. - Person 8 - Friday, May 31, 19 @ 10:14 pm:

    Pass it and allow Chicago to ban it at the stadiums themselves. Allow us to bet on sports. I also think they should allow on us to bet on our college teams, but futures only. If we want to put some money down that we think Northwestern will win the BT, that should be feasible.


  9. - Glengarry - Friday, May 31, 19 @ 10:18 pm:

    Another Lightford brick.


  10. - Chicago Bars - Friday, May 31, 19 @ 10:21 pm:

    Weren’t there 7 sports arena licenses? Figuring at least 3 would be for Chicago, doesn’t pulling those out get Cubs, Blackhawks, Sox and their lobbyists fighting instead of pushing the bill now?


  11. - DuPage a Saint - Friday, May 31, 19 @ 10:29 pm:

    Just pass the thing tweak it later I don’t gamble but make money off those that do. Let Chicago run its own business


  12. - Commonsense in Illinois - Friday, May 31, 19 @ 10:34 pm:

    This is small thinking. Does the Mayor truly believe the market for gaming in Chicago would be successful at just one and only one location?

    It’s a city of 3 million for crying out loud…it could support half a dozen casinos/sports books and all of them would be successful.


  13. - Jrog - Friday, May 31, 19 @ 10:37 pm:

    She knows it blows up the bill so they have to give her more, nobody dumb enough to think stadium gaming matters, it’s all going to be online anyway


  14. - TJ - Saturday, Jun 1, 19 @ 12:45 am:

    Meh, I’d prefer no downtown Chicago casino. I’m of the admittedly biased opinion that any city that opens a significant casino downtown shortly thereafter has their downtown turn into an utter armpit.


  15. - Sonny - Saturday, Jun 1, 19 @ 1:11 am:

    This is nuts. Talk about last minute. Tweak it later and take the new revenue.


  16. - Been There - Saturday, Jun 1, 19 @ 1:30 am:

    ===Does she not have any lobbyists in Springfield?!?===
    Yes and they slipped in support of the bill. Go figure.


  17. - Fixer - Saturday, Jun 1, 19 @ 5:08 am:

    This might end up as a nothing burger, given her opposition. Then again, it might end up being a lesson to her on not waiting until the last minute to voice said opposition. I hope this gets done, if for no other reason than it’s long overdue.


  18. - Anon for Now - Saturday, Jun 1, 19 @ 7:51 am:

    City of Chicago under every mayor–and every cook county president–loves the last minute brick. At the very least it freaks out most Chicago Chicago lawmakers and brings additional concessions (as pointed out by others).


  19. - Realist - Saturday, Jun 1, 19 @ 10:09 am:

    Pass the casino expansion already……..our neighboring states have taken enough of Illinois gambling money


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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