Illinois retail sportsbook launch will be in time for March Madness. The Rivers Casino will be the first sportsbook to accept wagers Monday morning. Thus, Illinois will be the 15th state with legal sports wagering in the nation.
The BetRivers Sportsbook will start accepting March Madness bets after the Illinois Gaming Board approved its application. It is in time for the start of the college basketball tournament. March Madness is one of the busiest sports events for sports betting.
The sportsbook at the Rivers Casino will open at 10 A.M. Monday. The sportsbook has a 47-foot ultra-wide HD video wall, 30 sportsbook kiosks, and five wagering windows. The casino got its license to operate in February, along with five other casino operators.
Illinois Retail Sportsbook
Aside from Rivers Casinos, five other Illinois casinos got their temporary operating permits. They are Hollywood Joliet, Hollywood Aurora, Argosy, Grand Victoria, and Par-A-Dice. Also, Fairmont Park got a provisional license, according to a political forum.
Regulators have no timeline for the launch of online sports betting. No pay per head online operator has applied. Also, regulators require players to register in-person, even if they are using a mobile app.
That requirement will be in place until the state approved the first standalone mobile license. However, that will only be an option 18 months after the start of local sports wagering in the state.
At present, the only way on how to be a bookie in Illinois is to have an existing casino or race track license. Only then can you apply for a sports betting license in the state. Standalone permits cost $20 million, which might not make it attractive for people who want to start an online bookie business in Illinois.
Aside from casinos, racetracks, and standalone mobile sports betting operators, Illinois also allows sports stadiums and lottery vendors to offer sports betting.