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The Chicago Bears pro football team has announced its first sportsbook and casino partners: Rush Street Interactive’s [RSI] BetRivers.com and Rivers Casino. News of the agreement comes shortly after the Bears submitted a bid for Arlington International Racecourse.
In an agreement announced this week, there is a multi-year exclusive gaming partnership between the companies. Much of it appears to relate to marketing initiatives.
We look forward to connecting with our fans in fun and unique ways through these avenues, and couldn’t be prouder to be building this relationship with a hometown company,” Bears President and CEO Ted Phillips said in a statement about the partnership.
Few details were announced in the statement. Casino.org reached out to the Bears and RSI for more information. But spokespeople at both organizations declined to add to the statement released on Tuesday.
Stadium Signage Part of Agreement
The new agreement involving the Bears calls for the Rush Street business to be given digital, social, and print “assets,” the statement said. BetRivers additionally will be the title partner of the Bears’ Free to Play Game. It is on the Bears’ app from Verizon.
Also, players on BetRivers.com will be able to see promotions for Bears’ prizes and some other unnamed “experiences” while they make bets.
Under the agreement, BetRivers and Rivers Casino will receive “prominent” signs in the Bears’ home field. Currently, that is Soldier Field. It seats some 61,500 fans and was renovated several years ago. Rumors have floated in recent years the Bears could relocate to a new stadium in the region.
The Bears’ lease with Soldier Field runs through 2033. Breaking it early could mean a hefty payment by the NFL team.
Bears Bid on Arlington Racecourse
But the Bears recently made a bid on Arlington International Racecourse in Arlington Heights, a Chicago suburb. It is owned by Churchill Downs Inc.
It is our obligation to explore every possible option to ensure we’re doing what’s best for our organization and its future,” Phillips said in a recent statement explaining the move. “If selected, this step allows us to further evaluate the property and its potential.”
If the Bears’ bid is successful, the team could play football there and seek a sports betting license for the property.
In response to the Bears’ interest in Arlington, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot called it a “negotiation tactic.”
Rivers Casino is located in Des Plaines, Ill., a suburb 15 miles from downtown Chicago. In 2019, Churchill Downs Inc. purchased “ownership interests” of Midwest Gaming Holdings for about $407 million.
That was the parent company of Rivers Casino Des Plaines. The gaming property is now majority owned by Churchill Downs Inc. A minority owner is Rush Street Gaming.
“As a lifelong Bears fan, I am thrilled to have BetRivers and Rivers Casino partner with our hometown NFL team, the Chicago Bears…,” Neil Bluhm, executive chairman and co-founder of RSI and Rush Street Gaming, said in the statement.
We look forward to expanding our relationship with the Bears and their dedicated fan base, and offering innovative products and promotions…,” Bluhm added.
RSI operates in 10 US states. Beyond Illinois, these include Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Michigan, Indiana, Virginia, Colorado, Iowa, and West Virginia. The company also provides its sportsbook in Colombia.
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