CHICAGO — Pretty soon when you go out to the ballgame, you won't just be able to get peanuts and Cracker Jack, but betting slips as well.
The Chicago Cubs on Thursday announced a partnership with DraftKings that will lead to the installation of a sportsbook at 106-year-old Wrigley Field, according to multiple media reports. The facility will feature betting windows and self-serve kiosks, allowing fans to place wagers on games while the action is going on.
"An increasing number of sports fans want to integrate sports betting into their game experience, and we're excited to be one of the first to engage in developing a retail sportsbook at a professional sports venue," Crane Kenney, president of business operations for the Cubs, said.
The partnership marks a major shift in Major League Baseball's view of gambling, long viewed as the sport's "Cardinal sin." It is worth noting that Chicago was home to perhaps the darkest scandal in baseball history, when several members of the 1919 White Sox conspired to throw the World Series to the Cincinnati Reds in exchange for money from gamblers.
Betting was viewed with similar scorn by MLB and other sports leagues for roughly the next century, but three years ago the U.S. Supreme Court lifted the ban on individual states legalizing sports gambling in the case of Murphy v. NCAA. A number of states have since passed laws legalizing the practice, and more are expected to follow suit.
It is unknown when the sportsbook will be completed, especially since fans are not allowed inside Wrigley Field due to the coronavirus pandemic. It is expected to either be located inside the stadium or outside at the Cubs' "Wrigleyville" complex.