Still needs regulatory approval
FanDuel has entered an agreement with the United Center that could see the launch of a retail sportsbook inside the arena. The betting operator announced the deal with the home venue of the NHL’s Chicago Blackhawks and the NBA’s Chicago Bulls on Monday.
the two parties will work towards creating a non-betting space in the arena
The Illinois Gaming Board has to give this retail sportsbook the green light before the project can proceed. Until this approval is given, the two parties will work towards creating a non-betting space in the arena. This will contain FanDuel branding and will allow fans to watch live sports.
According to the current plan for the sportsbook, it will include a two-story venue adjacent to the atrium. This will feature modern sports betting and viewing technology, as well as a full-service team on hand to assist customers.
An exciting new project
United Center Joint Venture CEO and executive vice president Howard Pizer commented on the agreement with FanDuel, noting the operator’s track record of excellence and innovation. Pizer said the sportsbook will be “designed to give sports fans a brand new, fully immersive sportsbook lounge experience unlike any other.”
Meanwhile, FanDuel Group CEO Amy Howe wants the lounge at the United Center to become the “premier destination for Chicago sports fans.” She described sports fans in Chicago as some of the most passionate and loyal in the world and affirmed that the new lounge should reflect their excitement.
Retail sportsbooks at sports stadiums
The idea of retail sportsbooks at major sports stadiums is taking off across the US. The first retail sportsbook to operate within a sports venue came in Washington DC. Last May, a William Hill retail sportsbook opened at the Capital One Arena, home of the Washington Wizards and Washington Capitals.
DraftKings received the green light to develop a sportsbook at the home of the Chicago Cubs
FanDuel’s sportsbook at the United Center is not the first planned facility of this kind in Chicago. Last year, DraftKings received the green light to develop a sportsbook at the home of the Chicago Cubs – Wrigley Field. This formed part of the two parties’ partnership worth a reported $100m.
Betting in sports stadiums only became legal in Chicago in December. A joint City Council Committee passed an ordinance following a 19-7 vote. Both sides of the debate found themelves embroiled in a high-profile lobbying campaign leading up to the vote.