Penn National and Boyd Gaming Score Sports Betting Licenses in Illinois

Mar 04, 2020 05:03Joe Tarzaiski
Increasing Sports Books in Illinois

Three temporary sports betting licenses have been granted to land-based casinos by the Illinois Gaming Board (IGB). The Illinois Gaming Board is a five-member board, appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate. Their main role in the industry is to assure integrity of gambling, overlooking casino gambling, riverboat casino gambling, video gaming, and sports wagering throughout the state.

Illinois is currently the fifth-largest state in the US, and their ultimate goal is to keep their population within state lines. This is also fueled by the recent success of their neighboring states, Indiana and Iowa. This will bring the total of approved land-based sports gaming in Illinois to six locations.

Where Are These Casinos Located Within The State?

Both Hollywood Casino locations in Aurora and Joliet as well as Par-A-Dice Hotel and Casino in Peoria are the newest additions to the Prairie State gaming community. Fairmont Park racetrack has also expressed extreme interest in joining the sports betting industry, and awaits approval from the IGB.

The first three sports wagering licenses were made official by the IGB in January of 2020. These locations include Alton Casino, LLC, Midwest Gaming and Entertainment, LLC, and Eldorado Resorts’ Grand Victoria Casino, also known as the Elgin Riverboat Resort.

March Madness Action Ready for Illinois?

An official date has not been released from the IGB for the launch of the recent additions to sports betting land-based locations. The ultimate goal is to have the new sports books to be up and running in time to participate in the second biggest betting market outside of the super Bowl, March Madness. According to The Chicago Sun-Time stated the following.

“So far, the Alton gambling mecca, about 25 miles north of St. Louis, is the only applicant that has advertised a March Madness Launch. Rivers Casino executives have said they’re ‘hopeful’ they’ll be up and running by the time the tourney kicks off March 17.”

Government Opinion of the Recent Legal Sports Betting Expansions

Governor J.B. Pritzker has expressed full confidence Illinoisans will have access to legal sports betting in time for the Big Dance. He stated it “appears to be on track and will be up and running in time for March Madness.”

The launch of these three additional land-based casinos before the beginning of the tournament in March will without a doubt be extremely beneficial to the state’s overall revenue. Online sports betting is not currently legal to Illinois. The push of the initiation of these land-based platforms is crucial to land-based casinos due to dominating online platforms which will inevitably infiltrate the state, raising the competition for the Illinois gaming industry.

Joe Tarzaiski
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Joe Tarzaiski began his sports writing career in 2004 in the Philadelphia market, analyzing and handicapping professional sports, college sports, poker and various table games. He currently reports on the increased efforts on the legalization and continual growth of sports betting throughout the United States. A Philadelphia University alum, Joe is dedicated to following current trends in both the gaming community and daily news throughout the sports world.
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