The Oneida Casino in Green Bay, four miles from Lambeau Field, plans to launch retail sports betting in Wisconsin this NFL season.
However, the Oneida Nation was hoping to launch at the start of football season. Instead, it will likely not be ready until November.
Oneida Tribe spokesperson Nate Wisneski told Legal Sports Report:
“We anticipated having our sportsbook up and operational for the beginning of the NFL season. Necessary system and equipment components are on backorder. We now anticipate being open by November of this year.”
International Game Technology (IGT) will partner with Oneida to offer sports betting. An amended tribal compact with the state of Wisconsin paved the way for sports betting, though online wagering is still illegal in the Badger State.
There is not much brewing legislatively on the Wisconsin mobile betting front, but retail wagering is a start.
Missing out on Wisconsin sports betting dollars
While Wisconsin doesn’t have legal online sports betting, most of its surrounding states do.
Illinois, Michigan, Iowa and Indiana all have legal mobile sports wagering. As such, those states are taking away tax dollars from WI. Michigan also has a robust online casino market, though none of the other states do at this point.
Wisconsin is the No. 23 state in the US by population, which is a bit larger than Iowa and smaller than Indiana. But with the Packers, Brewers, Bucks and Badgers as hometown teams, Wisconsin has the potential to be a healthy sports betting market one day.
Will there ever be a Chicago Bears sportsbook?
Once sports betting at Oneida is up and running, the Packers will have a retail sportsbook closer to their stadium than the Chicago Bears. That’s despite Illinois having the No. 3 sports betting market in the US.
As of now, the closest retail sportsbooks near Soldier Field in IL are at Rivers Casino in Des Plaines and Hawthorne Race Course in Stickney. But will we be able to bet on the Bears at a Soldier Field sportsbook someday?
That’s very much up in the air at this point. We don’t even know if the Bears will be playing at Soldier Field in five years.
The Bears submitted a bid to buy Arlington International Racecourse, and the owner Churchill Downs is evaluating offers.
If the Bears moved to Arlington Heights, there would likely be an entertainment district similar to Lambeau Field. That type of atmosphere would likely be better suited for a sportsbook, as there would be more foot traffic on non-game days than at Soldier Field.
If the Bears remain on the lakefront, they might still have a retail sportsbook at some point. BetRivers is the team’s official sports betting partner, and the city of Chicago is taking steps to allow in-person books at stadiums.
We know the Cubs have partnered with DraftKings to build a sportsbook at Wrigley Field. Outside of the Cubs, no Chicago franchise has firm plans to do the same.
But we are still in a very early stage of Illinois sports betting.
One day, it will be possible to attend a game and place a sports bet in person at Illinois stadiums.