Is Wrigley Field ready for its own sportsbook?
When news broke that the Chicago Cubs are considering the addition of a sportsbook onto their iconic Wrigley Field, it brought back a lot of memories for people who have been following the story of sports betting in America.
For starters, it brought back memories of the days when sports leagues swore up and down that regulate sports betting would invite game fixing by nefarious organized crime interests. It also brought back memories of the years when those same leagues gave heartfelt speeches about how gambling would negatively impact the integrity of the game.
Those days, of course, are gone and the league’s hypocrisy has been exposed.
Not only are leagues demanding a piece of the regulated sports pie in the way of integrity fees (cash payouts meant to help defray the cost of monitoring sports betting anomalies) they’re also trying to force sportsbooks into buying data streams directly from the leagues. All of which brings us back to the proposed sportsbook at Wrigley Field.
At this point, the sportsbooks is merely an idea that no one in the Cubs organization seems willing to talk about, but is being reported by reliable source like ESPN’s David Purdum. The Cubs are, apparently, waiting for sports betting legislation to snake its way through the Illinois Statehouse before making any official statements on the Wrigley Field sportsbook.
Major League Baseball isn’t showing any cards and is playing things safe with statements like, “We will work with our clubs to explore the opportunities presented by the rapidly evolving sports betting landscape in a socially responsible manner.”
The fact remains, however, that professional sports is more than ready to embrace the regulated sports betting it fought for so long and the Wrigley Field sportsbook is all the proof you need.