Plans are being made to bring Illinois sports betting – and the National Football League – just 27 miles north of Chicago in Arlington Heights.
The Arlington Heights Village Board approved a zoning change this week that would permit an operational sportsbook located next to the $5 billion redevelopment of the Arlington International Racecourse that was proposed by the Chicago Bears for a new stadium.
Last year, the Village Board approved an ordinance that created an overlay zoning district for the racecourse that prohibited some uses for the site, including sports betting. This week’s zoning change tweaks that ordinance, greenlighting a special use wagering facility.
Illinois Sports Betting Options Plentiful
The state has a thriving online market for Illinois sportsbook apps as well as options at retail sportsbooks.
“A sports wagering facility is allowed in the Arlington International Racecourse Property Overlay Zoning District, but only upon issuance of a special use permit therefor (which may be approved as part of a planned unit development), and only as part of an approved development that includes a professional sports stadium,” the Arlington Heights Village Board wrote in its Nov. 7 board meeting under the “Conditions of Use” Section 5.1-22.1.
In September 2021, the Bears signed a purchase agreement of nearly $200 million with Churchill Downs for over 300 acres of land located at the site of Arlington Park for a new stadium and a mixed-use residential and commercial district.
The team could join a growing list of NFL betting partnerships at physical retail sportsbooks or for online wagering deals.
What Illinois Law Allows
Illinois law allows for sportsbooks at major venues and professional franchises in Chicago have already jumped at that opportunity.
A sportsbook is under construction at the friendly confines of Wrigley Field and FanDuel as a lounge at the United Center, the home of the NBA’s Chicago Bulls and NHL’s Chicago Blackhawks.
“We believe that a sports betting facility will be an integral part of the new stadium development corridor,” Bears General Counsel Cliff Stain told the Chicago Tribune.
The best Illinois sports betting promotions are at IllinoisBet.com any time of year, whichever sport or sports you prefer.