Today Australian based bookmaker announced a deal to partner with the Hawthorn Race track near Chicago. Whilst they are still waiting on a sports betting license for online the deal means they can start working on the building and planning ready for that time. They will be launching what they describe as a “Premium Sports Book” which we would expect to be in line with their New Jersey Sportsbook offering.
The deal also includes off-track betting that will be run online and via mobile and apps which will be advertised under the Pointsbet brand. We would also expect the Illinois app to be identical to the Pointsbet app in New Jersey.
When will you be able to place a bet in Illinois?
This is a very good question and although PointBet signed this deal in July it does not mean that online gambling is imminent in the state, unfortunately.
Depending on where you read seems to depend on the date. Based on the regulation and testing that still needs to be done and compared to how other states have done suggestions of December 19 seem a little over-eager. We’d be optimistic about being able to bet on the Super Bowl by February 2020 and if you took a pessimistic view June/ July 20 would be almost guaranteed to be up and running.
The good thing about this and other gambling deals in Illinois is that companies will be ready to go from day 1. We’ve seen issues with betting apps in Pennsylvania where the regulation is in place but the online side has not had time to get through testing leading to a lag in time from the announcement when you can actually whip your cell out and have a bet.
The legislation in place also clears the way for more casinos in the state at the race tracks and the airport. This means as well as online there will be more physical places than ever to have a wager or play some casino games. You will also see slots machines appearing in the race tracks too as a part of the new gambling liberalization in the state. As well as mobile sports bets you will see some companies introducing mobile casino apps along with site the sports brands. Some of the land-based casinos may also offer a branded online and mobile casino to play on when you are away from the casino.
Hawthorns General Manager, Tim Carey, said of the deal
“Governor Pritzker and the Legislature have given us a historic opportunity to transform the Illinois racing industry with the addition of casino gaming and sports betting. It’s an opportunity that we won’t take lightly and that’s exactly why we chose PointsBet as our partner, Our business has survived because we put players first, and PointsBet has proven they do as well. That is how we are going to succeed together.”
On the surface, this seems like Points bet has got ahead of the curve but we are expecting a run of announcements over the coming months in the state.