100 Years After A Gambling Raid, Wrigley Field Will Have Legalized Sports Betting

100 years too late for 47 people who were nabbed.

There is no one alive who remembers the time when the bleachers at Cubs Park in Chicago was raided by local police on a suspicion of gambling on May 24, 1920. There were 47 arrests made after the first inning of a game between the Cubs and the Philadelphia Phillies. The bets were not large in any sense, it was nickel, dime and 50 cents wagers. But baseball owners were cracking down on gambling in the stands and Cubs ownership called the cops to break up the betting. Also, that day, three men were arrested at Manhattan’s Polo Grounds. The bets were not on the New York Giants who used the Polo Grounds but on a New York Yankees-Detroit Tigers game. Those who were arrested on May 24, 1920 would certainly welcome the 21st century Wrigley Field because the stadium will be becoming betting friendly soon. When fans will be able to get back to the ballpark once COVID-19 is contained, the Cubs and the team’s betting partner DraftKings will make legal gambling available although there probably is a portion of the Cubs crowd that would probably like to bet the old fashion way. With each other in the bleachers and not necessarily doing it legally.

For those old enough to remember the signs on Major League Baseball stadiums’ scoreboards that said no betting permitted, that world has disappeared. In Washington, DC, there is now a betting facility inside the arena that houses the National Basketball Association’s Wizards and the National Hockey League’s Capitals. Major League Baseball’s Washington Nationals ownership is also building a sports betting casino near the team’s stadium and the DC United Major League Soccer franchise’s ownership has plans to get a sportsbook up and going at its soccer venue. Sports owners have embraced sports betting. Why? The owners realized that sports betting with the right licensing deals could put money in their pockets.

FILE – In this Nov. 18, 2019, file photo, patrons visit the sports betting area of Twin River Casino in Lincoln, R.I. (AP Photo/Steven Senne, File)