- Sportsbook operator FanDuel has reached an agreement with the United Center to launch a two-story, in-person sportsbook located inside the stadium, home to the Bulls and Blackhawks.
- The next step is for FanDuel and the United Center to apply for a sportsbook license with the Illinois Gaming Board – this can take some time, so the goal seems to be an early 2023 launch.
CHICAGO – The United Center – home of both the Chicago Bulls and Chicago Blackhawks – announced an agreement with FanDuel to open a sportsbook at the venue on Monday.
The sportsbook is expected to be a full-service, two-story venue located near the stadium’s atrium.
United Center And FanDuel Excited About New Stadium Sportsbook Partnership
The partnership between the United Center and FanDuel follows the Chicago City Council’s lifting of their ban on stadium sportsbooks in December. The Chicago Cubs and DraftKings reached a similar deal for a sportsbook in Wrigley Field.
“Chicago sports fans are some of the most loyal and passionate in the world and plans for our sportsbook lounge inside the United Center reflect their excitement. Our team has a track record of delivering incredible retail locations for fans, and we can’t wait to make this sportsbook lounge the premier destination for Chicago sports fans and a place where they can fully experience the FanDuel brand, said Amy Howe, CEO of FanDuel Group.
The United Center is just as excited about the new partnership.
“As an industry leader in sports betting with a large and loyal existing customer base, FanDuel has a proven track record of innovation and excellence making them the perfect partner in developing the sportsbook at the United Center. It is designed to give sports fans a brand new, fully immersive sportsbook lounge experience unlike any other,” said Howard Pizer, Executive Vice President and CEO of the United Center.
While the new agreement is exciting for all parties involved, the sportsbook itself is still a long way from becoming a reality. The next step will be for FanDuel and the United Center to apply for a sports betting license with the Illinois Gaming Board. This process can be somewhat lengthy – the Cubs and DraftKings are planning to get their sportsbook in place in time for fans to bet on the 2023 MLB season.
With the United Center deal coming a bit later than the approval of the Wrigley Field agreement, a logical goal would be for the United Center to have their sportsbook in place in time for visitors to bet on the 2023 NBA season.
White Sox, Bears Still Without Sportsbook Partner
Jerry Reinsdorf, owner of the Chicago Bulls, is also the owner of the Chicago White Sox. FanDuel had a huge advertising presence at Guaranteed Rate Field in 2021, which they could parlay into another sportsbook partnership like the one they have with Reinsdorf and the Bulls.
However, despite the already-established relationship, this partnership is far from a sure thing: Illinois will be doing away with in-person registration by the beginning of March, meaning there will likely be a surge in new potential suitors for the White Sox.
The other major professional sports stadium in Chicago – Soldier Field, home to the Chicago Bears – is an unlikely candidate for an in-stadium sportsbook. The team and city are engaged in discussion about potentially abandoning Soldier Field for Arlington Park; as a result, it seems very unlikely that the Bears would make such an investment with one foot out the door, at least until they find a long-term home.
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News tags: Amy Howe | Arlington Park | Chicago Bears | Chicago Blackhawks | Chicago Bulls | Chicago City Council | Chicago Cubs | Chicago White Sox | DraftKings | FanDuel | FanDuel Group | Guaranteed Rate Field | Howard Pizer | Illinois Gaming Board | Jerry Reinsdorf | MLB | NBA | Soldier Field | The United Center | Wrigley Field
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