Fanatics Could be Aquiring a Sports Betting Company Soon

Sportsbook

Sports merchandise leader Fanatics is closing in on a deal to acquire a sports betting company as part of its expansion plans.

Fanatics officials refused to comment on the issue but industry sources say that meetings with Rush Street Interactive (RSI) and Swedish gaming company Betsson had positive results and Fanatics is likely to end up buying one of the two.

Rush Street Makes Sense

For Fanatics, Rush Sense makes sense. Despite having presence in 10 states including Illinois, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania and being among the Top 5 online revenue grossers, RSI has the weakest brand among companies of the same size. This means that they can change their name to an acquiring company like Fanatics.

There are also rumors that RSI is in the driver’s seat to land the rights to ESPN’s name in sports betting. The Wall Street Journal recently reported that ESPN was looking to sell its name to a sports betting package for $3B. That is supposedly one of the reasons why RSI worked to get the third skin in partnership with the Connecticut Lottery after DraftKings and FanDuel partnered with the state’s two Native American tribes.

On the other hand, Betsson has an excellent iGaming product but it does not operate in the United States and would be more of a back-end technology for Fanatics.

Fanatics Has Tripled its Value

Last month, it was reported that Fanatics had tripled its value to $18B over the past year. The company was valued at $13B last March before receiving a $325M funding from its existing owners while also adding funds from new investors like Jay-Z’s Roc Nation, SoftBank, Silver Lake , Eldridge, TWG Sports & Entertainment, MLB, and Insight Partners.

The company said that the additional funding would be used to transition from a vertical commerce company to an international digital sports platform while expand its technological and consumer databases to integrate new markets such as NFTs, gaming, media, and sports betting.

Before venturing to other businesses, Fanatics acquired some assets, inventory, and college licensing rights of Vetta Brands, including the Top of the World division. Last year, Fanatics also purchased the licensed sports merchandise company WinCraft.

Rivers Casino Des Plaines $87M Expansion Reaches Milestone

Rivers Casino Des Plaines Logo and Exterior Image
The Rivers Casino Des Plaines $87M expansion reached a milestone on Monday with the placement of the final structural beam during a topping off ceremony.

The 87,000 square feet project includes a new poker room, additional slot machines, a new restaurant, and an events ballroom. The expansion will add 725 gambling positions, bringing the casino’s total to 2,000 which is the maximum allowed by the state.

Said Corey Wise, senior vice president and general manager of Rivers Casino:

“We are investing in the property to provide our guests more dining amenities, more entertainment, more gaming options, and what will be the Midwest’s best poker room,”

ATwo-Phase Expansion

The expansion will be done in two phases with the initial one expected to be completed during winter. It includes the ground-level addition which will house the new restaurant, and the expanded gaming floor for additional slot machines and table games.

Phase 2 includes the second floor of the new facility which includes a 22-table poker room, a slot machine area, anda 10,000 square feet ballroom for private events and live entertainment.

The new area will be located between the current casino building and the newly-expanded parking area on the North side of the property at 3000 S.River Road.

Creation of 400 New Jobs

The project is expected to create 400 new permanent jobs, including 250 table game dealers for the expanded gaming area. According to the company, the recruitment process for these vacancies has already started.

This expansion is just the latest in several upgrades that the Rivers Casino Des Plaines has undergone in recent years. After Illinois legalized sports betting in the summer of 2019, the Des Plaines-based casino took the first legal sports bet in the state through a retail BetRivers sportsbook inside the property.

Currently, the gambling property has a 5,000 square foot sports bar with a 47-foot wide video wall, with five betting windows, and 30 self service betting kiosks.

More Issues Arise Opening a Casino-Resort in Chicago

Lori Lightfoot

For more than two years, state officials in Illinois have been working hard to open a new casino-resort in Chicago. Unfortunately, a huge number of issues have kept potential casino operators away. It now appears that the city is extending the deadline for companies to apply for a license to run this property.

Today, we’ll talk about why this deadline was extended. We will also discuss some of the ways that Illinois’ gaming industry is set to expand over the next few years. There’s a lot to cover.

Let’s get into it!

US Casinos Continue Seeing Boosts in Visitation Rates

Nearly all of 2021 has been hugely successful for the US casino industry. Major casino hubs have been seeing consistent jumps in their revenue and visitation rates. Some feared that this upward trend would be coming to a halt due to the spread of the new Delta variant.

As infection rates continued to grow, health officials around the country began recommending new measures. Some of these measures affected casinos. Various casino hubs around the country started ordering restrictions inside casinos once again.

Over in Las Vegas, masks are now required on the casino floor. Both patrons and employees inside of the casinos in Las Vegas need to wear these masks at all times. Similar measures have been set in place in various other popular casino destinations.

Fortunately, these new rules do not seem to be impacting these casino’s visitation rates. Many areas of the country continue to report increases in their revenue and tourism numbers. It’s fantastic news for these companies and shows how resilient this industry can be.

Between April and June, casinos in Las Vegas pulled in the best revenue figures since 2006. It seems that this will continue, despite the recently-ordered mask mandate. People around the country are clearly still interested in gambling inside popular casinos.

Illinois is home to a large number of popular casinos. Unfortunately, it does not appear that a casino will be opening in Chicago anytime soon.

Opening a Casino-Resort in Chicago is Taking Longer than Expected

Over the past decade, Illinois’ gambling industry has expanded significantly. Today, both tribal and commercial casinos are able to operate here. A huge number of these Class III casinos are spread throughout the state.

Illinois now also allows and regulates sports betting. Both land-based and mobile sports gambling are allowed in the state. In the short time this industry has been live here, Illinois has already generated the second-largest sports betting market in the country.

Since 2019, work has been ongoing to get a casino-resort in Chicago. State officials set unusually high tax rates on this venue that have kept most companies from expressing an interest in operating this property, though. Very few casino operators seem interested in applying for a license to run this proposed venue.

News broke this week that Chicago was extending the deadline for companies to apply for one of these licenses. The original deadline was set for August 23. Mayor Lori Lightfoot has officially pushed this back to October 29. The Mayor released a statement on this situation to the media this week.

“Extending the deadline for interested bidders will allow the City to collect as many robust, impactful and transformative proposals as possible,” she said. “I look forward to seeing these bids roll in and working very closely with whichever team is ultimately chosen to develop Chicago’s first-ever casino.”

Most of the country’s biggest gaming companies no longer seem interested in operating this venue. Several small, regional companies are still determined to apply for a license. We’ll be sure to offer more updates on this situation over the next few months.

Sports Betting Revenue Continues to Increase in Illinois

Illinois is one of the many states around the country to embrace the sports gambling industry. The first sportsbooks here officially launched in March of 2020. Revenue from this industry has been steadily increasing since the first sportsbooks launched here.

Not long ago, reports on Illinois’ sports betting revenue for the month of June came out. More than $476 million was placed on sports wagers in the state over the course of the month. That represents a slight handle drop when compared to May.

Interestingly, gross gaming revenue in the state came out to $47.5 million. That represents a staggering 31% increase from May. The state earned considerably more money via taxes in June as well.

Many analysts expect to see revenue figures increasing here over the next few months. The start of the NFL season is almost guaranteed to draw in a massive number of wagers. It’s an exciting time for the sports gambling companies operating here.

Stay tuned for more revenue reports here. It won’t be long before the reports on the revenue figures for the month of July come out. Hope is that the sports betting companies here saw another increase in their earnings.

Do you expect to see a casino-resort in Chicago anytime soon? Let us know in the comments section below!

More Issues Arise Opening the First Casino in Chicago

Casino In Chicago

For years, officials in Illinois have been interested in getting a major casino-resort open in the city of Chicago. Unfortunately, numerous issues have come up trying to move these plans forward. It now appears there are very few companies interested in opening the first casino in Chicago.

It’s disappointing news for gambling fans to hear. Today, we’ll talk about what needs to be done for this casino to open. We’ll discuss how the state’s current gambling industry is faring right now.

Let’s get into it!

Casino Officials Continue to Express Fear Over Additional Restrictions

The events that unfolded in 2020 proved just how vulnerable the US casino industry really is. For months last year, all of the casinos across the country were completely shut down. This took a devastating toll on the cities that these casinos are located in.

Even after reopening to the public, US casinos were forced to abide by intense health regulations. That includes lowered capacity limits and mandatory mask-wearing. These rules kept many individuals from making the journey to places like Las Vegas.

Things have been steadily improving for casinos throughout 2021. Tourism to major gambling hubs has been increasing and gambling revenue has been steadily rising. Unfortunately, there are some that fear a return to how things were last year.

The spread of the new Delta variant has many health officials worried. Some areas of the country have already begun ordering a new fresh set of health regulations. Several major casino officials are now expressing fear that their casinos could be ordered to implement more restrictions in the near future.

This would be a major blow for the major casinos in Las Vegas. These properties are beginning to see pre-pandemic levels of revenue right now. If a new wave of restrictions is implemented, much of the progress that was set in place here has been undone.

A group of officials in Illinois continues pushing to open a major casino-resort in Chicago. More issues continue to get in the way of this venue opening, though.

Here’s Another Update on the First Casino in Chicago

Illinois is known for its lenient laws toward gambling. Today, both casino gambling and sports betting are completely legal. In fact, the state’s sports betting industry is now the second-largest in the country after only New Jersey.

Back in 2019, lawmakers here approved a Capital Plan that allows for several new casinos to open around the state. This new plan also allows for a Class III casino to open its doors in Chicago. Unfortunately, getting this property up and running has been much more difficult than some initially expected.

Much of that has to do with the state’s regulations. Illinois set an unusually high tax rate on this Chicago casino. This has kept many of the country’s biggest gaming companies from expressing interest in opening the first casino in Chicago.

It seems that casino companies are still skeptical about the opportunity here. Four companies have expressed interest in opening this property. Two have formally dropped out and another seems to be showing more hesitancy. Alan Woinski, president of Gaming USA, spoke about this situation to the media this week.

“The casinos in the state have been in nothing but a downward spiral for a decade, except for Rivers,” Woinski said. “There’s no reason to believe that if you add a casino downtown that you’ll do anything but cannibalize the others, including Rivers. It’s kind of a zero-sum game and everybody loses.”

It seems there are still a huge number of issues in the way of this property opening its doors. Stay tuned for more updates on the effort to open a casino here over the next few months!

Will Sports Stadiums in Chicago Soon Allow Sportsbooks?

Illinois is now one of the country’s biggest and most profitable sports gambling hubs. Here, both online and land-based sportsbooks are operating. Some have been disappointed to see that none of the sports stadiums here have launched any sportsbooks, though.

When Illinois first launched its sports gambling bills, it was expected that stadiums here would allow sportsbooks. That hasn’t been the case, though. Chicago has set a ban on sportsbooks inside casinos since 2020.

This could soon change. News broke last week that Alderman Walter Burnett proposed a new ordinance that would allow for sports stadiums to purchase sports betting licenses. This could allow for Soldier Field, Wrigley Field, Guaranteed Rate Field, the United Center, and Wintrust Arena to each launch their own sportsbooks.

It remains to be seen if this new ordinance will gain any support from fellow lawmakers. Many in Illinois are beginning to see how much revenue can be earned from this industry. Sports fans are excited to hear that sports betting could be allowed inside stadiums.

If approved, this ordinance would also allow for sports betting to become available in the first casino in Chicago. This casino has to be built first, though. As of now, very few companies seen interested in opening this venue.

When do you expect a casino to finally open in Chicago? Do you think a gambling venue here will be successful? Let us know in the comments section below!

Illinois Gaming Board OKs Construction of Temporary Rockford Casino

Hard Rock Atlantic City
The Illinois Gaming Board has approved the request of 815 Entertainment LLC to construct a temporary casino in Rockford at 610 N.Bell School Road.

It is the first of the six new casino locations approved in the state’s 2019 gambling expansion to be given the green light to begin construction.

In its letter of approval, Gaming Board Administrator Marcus Frutcher wrote:

“Based on a review of the materials applicant submitted in support of this request along with your representations, and pursuant to the authority delegated to me under the June 11, 2020, Board Resolution … request is hereby approved. Applicant may now commence construction at the temporary casino facility.”

An $8.8M Renovation Project on Former Giovanni’s Restaurant

The 37,790 square foot former Giovanni’s Restaurant and Convention Center will be converted into a temporary casino location. The $8.8M renovation project is expected to have 736 slot machines, two restaurants, and possibly include a “Rock Shop”.

Construction is expected to be completed in three months but before the temporary Rockford casino can operate, the owners must first obtain the Gaming Board’s permit to operate and receive approval of the casino’s security and surveillance plans.

The temporary Rockford casino could operate for two years while the permanent $311M Hard Rock Redford Casino is completed.

Permanent Casino Project Still Needs Further Approval

815 Entertainment’s Hard Rock Redford Casino project still has to secure further approval before construction can start at the former Clock Tower Resort at the entrance of Interstate 90 and East State Street.

The plan is to transform the iconic piece of property with historical significance into a Hard Rock brand by building a 65,000 square foot gaming location, a Hard Rock Cafe, and a 1,600-seat Hard Rock Live Venue. That project is estimated to provide 1,200 constructions jobs and up to 1,000 permanent jobs at the casino complex.

Hard Rock, which operates 240 venues in 69 different countries, including 12 casinos, is expected to bring in potential visitors well beyond the Illinois borders. The location of the permanent casino has tremendous access from Interstate 90 with nearly 70,000 cars passing daily.

Popular Illinois Casino Signs New Deal With Chicago Bears

Chicago Bears Logo

For years, Illinois has been preparing to significantly expand its gambling industry. It seems that the state’s sports teams recognize this changing trend. News broke this week that a popular Illinois casino has just signed a new deal with the Chicago Bears.

This should help to bring this gambling venue considerably more exposure. It also goes to show how far the state’s gaming industry has come recently. Now is a great time to talk about exactly which casino the Bears have decided to team up with.

Let’s get into it!

Illinois is Now Home to the Country’s Second-Largest Sports Betting Market

The US sports gambling industry has grown tremendously since 2018. This was the year PASPA was removed, giving every state in the country the ability to legalize its own sports gambling industry. Today, more than 30 states have passed legislation to allow this form of gambling.

Illinois launched its first sportsbook in March of 2020. It immediately became clear that there was a major demand for sports betting. Revenue figures earned from this industry quickly began to surge with each passing month.

Today, Illinois is home to the second-largest sports betting market in the United States. Only New Jersey is ahead in terms of revenue. That’s not a huge surprise when considering New Jersey also draws in a huge number of bettors from neighboring New York.

2021 is proving to be an exceptional year for the sports betting companies in this state. This past April, Illinois saw an astounding $537.2 million in sports betting handle. The vast majority of the bets placed here were made using a mobile device.

Most analysts expect revenue figures from Illinois’ gaming industry to increase as 2021 goes on. That is particularly true if lawmakers approve a measure to allow college sports betting here in the near future. Some even feel that Illinois has the potential to become the country’s biggest sports gambling hub soon.

The casinos here are bouncing back from the events that unfolded in 2020. We’re now beginning to hear about a major new partnership involving one of the state’s sports teams and a casino here.

Chicago Bears Sign New Sponsorship Deal With a Popular Illinois Casino

Illinois is home to a huge number of casinos. Lately, the government here has been working to expand the number of gaming venues operating in the state. It comes as part of the plan to generate more tax money from these properties.

It seems that the state’s embrace of casinos is being noticed by various Illinois sports teams. This week, news broke that the Chicago Bears have just signed a new sponsorship deal with a popular Illinois casino. This is the Rivers Casino in Des Plaines, one of the most successful gaming venues in the state.

The Rivers Casno casino will be the “official casino of the Chicago Bears” moving forward. Bears president Ted Phillips released a statement on this situation to the media. In it, he expressed his excitement and believes this will help the team to better connect with fans.

“We are incredibly excited to announce BetRivers and Rivers Casino as our first multi-year exclusive partner in the Sportsbook and Casino categories,” Phillips said. “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.”

The Bears also signed a sponsorship deal with BetRivers, a popular sports betting company in the state. Both this sportsbook and Des Plaines casino will receive access to “digital, social and print assets” of the Bears. This should help to bring these companies significantly more exposure over the next few years.

There is a lot happening with the gambling industry over in Chicago. Here’s a quick look at the state’s plans to launch a casino in the city of Chicago.

What’s Happening With Chicago’s Casino Plans?

Back in mid-2019, lawmakers in Illinois approved a new capital plan that allows for several new casinos to be constructed around the state. To the surprise of many analysts, that includes a new casino in Chicago.

Several issues have come up with attempting to get this venue built, though. First, state officials set an unusually high tax rate for whichever company was granted a license to run this venue. That kept almost all of the country’s major gaming companies from expressing any interest in running this casino.

Location has been another issue. Officials in Chicago have spent a considerable amount of time trying to find the best location to open this venue. There are still several areas of the city under consideration to host the Chicago casino.

There has been little word on this venue for the past few months. Mayor Lori Lightfoot seems determined to make progress, yet other issues are clearly taking precedence. Hope is that Chicago’s first casino will open its doors within a few years.

Those in the Chicago area have plenty of great, nearby gambling venues to choose from. That includes the popular Illinois casino recently partnered with the Bears, Rivers Casino in Des Plaines.

Are you excited to hear about the Bears’ new sponsorship with Illinois gaming companies? Let us know in the comments section below.

Limited In-State College Sports Betting Bill Filed in Illinois

Odds Board and Money

Limited betting on in-state college sports could soon be legalized in Illinois after a two-year trial bill has been filed in the General Assembly on the last scheduled day of the legislative session.

Sponsored by Blue Island Rep. Bob Rita, the omnibus sports bill could pass both chambers before they adjourn on Monday after passing a committee on Monday afternoon.

In Person Illinois Sports Betting

Persons who want to make in-state college sports bets in Illinois must go to a brick and mortar sportsbook instead of an online one. A bet on an Illinois college team must be a Tier 1 wager, meaning it is solely determined by the final outcome of a sporting event. It must also be placed before the start of the game.

The new Illinois sports betting bill also permits the Wintrust Arena, home of the WNBA’s Chicago Sky, to become a spots betting venue. The initial fee for the Wintrust Arena would be $10M or 5% of gross receipts, whichever is lower. The license could be renewed in four years at a fee of $1M.

If the bill is passed by the lawmakers ang signed by the Governor, it will immediately take effect. The provision would run through July 1,2023 and betting on individual performances is not legal.

Video Gaming Provisions

The Illinois college sports betting bill also increased the cap for the annual fee that non-home rule municipalities charge on video game terminals from $25 to $250. The $250 fee would apply to home municipalities too although lawmakers intend to include a provision that allows the municipalities who charge more to continue to do so.

Under the measure, municipalities are also prevented from taxing video gambling machines or the bets placed on those machines. If municipalities have already levied such taxes on video game gambling on June 1st, they may continue to charge it but cannot increase, expand, or extend the tax rate on persons playing video game terminals.

Fraternal organizations such as VFW posts and American Legions are also allowed to apply for gambling machine licenses even if their municipalities have a local ban on them. The Illinois sports betting bill also allows fraternal facilities without liquor licenses to apply. However, the foregoing provisions shall not apply to Chicago and Cook County facilities.

MGM Resorts Passes on Running the Chicago Casino

Chicago Casino

For years, officials in Illinois have been working on ways to build and open a new casino-resort in Chicago. Many are now beginning to question which company will choose to operate this gaming venue. New reports indicate MGM Resorts has no desire to operate the proposed Chicago.

There are several reasons why this is. Today, we’ll explain what has led to MGM Resorts passing on this venue. We will also talk about when and where this property could finally open its doors.

Let’s get into it!

Gaming Revenue Continues to Ramp Up Around the US

The US casino industry has been in a major recovery over the past few months. States around the country continue to report increases in revenue. Some, of course, are seeing more impressive revenue figures than others.

Nevada had a hugely impressive month during March. That month, the state saw an amazing 67% jump in overall gambling revenue. The Las Vegas Strip ended up bringing the largest revenue figures, yet the entire state saw a big increase.

New Jersey also experienced a major revenue boost during March. The casinos here reported an increase of 75% in revenue when compared to the same month in 2020. Both casino and sports betting revenue are up here.

Many of the country’s smaller gaming hubs have been seeing revenue increases, too. As a result, many states are once again looking at expanding their gambling industries. Many exciting new casino-resorts are expected to open around the country over the next few months.

Casino companies are seeing their stock prices increase. This trend is expected to continue as tourism rates into major gambling hubs increase. It’s an extremely exciting time for the country’s gambling industry as a whole.

Illinois is one state looking hard to open new casinos. That includes one in Chicago. Unfortunately, officials here are finding it difficult to find companies willing to operate this property.

MGM Resorts Shows No Desire to Operate the Chicago Casino

The US is home to many of the biggest, most successful casino companies on the planet. That includes MGM Resort, which owns and operates a huge number of major casino-resorts in Las Vegas. This company has expanded around the country over the past few years.

Interestingly, MGM Resorts is showing no desire to operate the proposed Chicago casino. Like many other companies, MGM feels there are too many issues surrounding this venue. That includes the high tax rate set in place here.

Company officials have confirmed that they are unlikely to apply for a casino license here. Instead, MGM is focused on locations such as Japan, Florida, and New York. Officials within the city of Chicago released a statement on this news this week.

“MGM Resorts is a respected company and Chicago would have been delighted to receive an MGM casino proposal,” the statement said. “We understand each casino operator will need to determine which opportunities are best suited for their organization and that MGM has prioritized its focus for several years on opportunities in Japan and its mobile wagering businesses. However, we believe other well-respected casino operators have a different view of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity in Chicago, and we expect to receive outstanding proposals for the Chicago casino.”

Many believe it’s time for Chicago to update its regulations. The tax rate set for the casino here is still considerably too high. Until this changes, more companies are likely to pass on applying for a license here.

Many are still asking where this new casino will be located. We are beginning to hear more about that as the year goes on.

What is the Most Likely Location for the Casino in Chicago?

There has been a huge amount of attention placed on Chicago’s casino plans in recent months. Officials here are realizing how much revenue can be earned from the gambling industry. Mayor Lori Lightfoot has been working hard to get this venue up and running as soon as possible.

Not long ago, reports surfaced that officials want to get this casino operational by 2025. It’s exciting news for gambling fans in the state. Of course, there is still no confirmation of where this casino will be located.

Eleven different companies have voiced their opinions on where this casino should be located. Most of them are favoring a downtown location. Ultimately, the location will be chosen by the company that receives permission to develop this property.

Hope is that this casino ends up being a major revenue-generator for the state. Many of Illinois’ lawmakers are expecting big things from this venue. If all goes according to plan, it will help to significantly boost tourism rates in Chicago.

The state’s sports betting industry continues to expand, too. Revenue from this industry continues to increase with each passing month. It’s an exciting time for the gaming market here.

Are you surprised to hear that MGM Resorts isn’t interested in opening the Chicago casino? Let us know in the comments section below!

Chicago’s First Casino is Expected to Come in 2025

Chicago

For years, officials in Illinois have been interested in opening a brand-new casino in Chicago. It hasn’t been easy getting this gambling venue up and running. Today, news broke that Chicago’s first casino is expected to open its doors in 2025. 

It’s exciting news for gambling fans throughout the state of Illinois. Today, we’ll talk about what’s being done to get this venue built. We’ll also discuss how Illinois’ gambling industry could evolve over the next few years. 

Let’s get into it!

Land-Based Casino Restrictions are Being Lifted Around the Country

It’s an exciting time for the casino industry right now. For more than a year, casinos in the US have been seeing major drops in their monthly revenue figures. Fortunately, it’s clear that things are beginning to improve in a big way. 

Tourism rates across all of the country’s major gambling hubs are surging. Places like Las Vegas are seeing steady increases in their hotel occupancy levels. As a result, more casinos are choosing to increase their operating hours and have begun offering more entertainment options. 

The relaxing of major casino restrictions has also helped this tourism boom. Many of the states around the country have recently loosened many of their regulations inside casinos. As a result, more people around the country are choosing to visit these major gaming hubs. 

Las Vegas is set for a big change beginning on June 1. Governor Sisolak recently announced that casinos in the state will be given permission to operate at 100% capacity. Nightclubs and bars can also run at full capacity. 

States around the country are now taking a closer look at expanding their gambling options. There are some fantastic new casino-resorts opening around the US soon. That includes Resorts World Las Vegas, the most expensive gaming venue ever built in the city. 

For months, lawmakers in Illinois have been talking about opening a gambling venue in the city of Chicago. We’re now beginning to hear more about when this property could be opening its doors! 

Here’s a Look at When Chicago’s First Casino is Set to Open 

Illinois is home to a large and successful gambling industry. It’s set to expand in a big way, too. Lawmakers passed a new Capital Plan back in 2019 that allows for several new casinos to open around the state. 

That includes one in Chicago. Mayor Lori Lightfoot embraces this move and has been working hard to get a casino built in the city. Several issues have gotten in the way of this happening. Fortunately, it appears there is some progress being made recently. 

Location has been a major issue with this gambling venue. Officials wanted to ensure it would be built in a place that is easily accessible. Even today, no one seems to know where exactly this property would end up. 

The opening date of this venue was also a talking point. This week, we finally received an update on when this casino could open its doors. If all goes according to plan, Chicago’s first casino will finally open its doors by 2025. Mayor Lori Lightfoot gave a statement that discusses the plans yesterday. 

“After years of planning, we are beyond excited to begin the RFP process for Chicago’s first casino,” she said. “We look forward to collaborating with world-class operators to develop a premier entertainment destination that will catalyze growth in our dynamic economy, create sustainable, good-paying jobs for our workforce and bring new financial opportunities to our businesses.”

Lightfoot is now asking for formal applications to run this venue. An operator is expected to be chosen in 2022. It will then take a few years for the city’s first major casino-resort to open its doors. Stay tuned for updates! 

Illinois’ Sports Betting Industry Could Begin to Shrink Soon

Back in March of 2020, sports betting finally went live in the state of Illinois. It was an extremely exciting time for sports fans here. Some, however, complained about the fact that they had to register in-person in order to make online sports wagers here. 

As the pandemic began to intensify around the US, Governor Pritzker decided to scrap the in-person registration rule. Doing so allowed residents in the state to register online to online sportsbooks. This helped the sports betting industry here grow extremely quickly. 

Things have begun to relax in recent months around the US. As a result, Pritzker seems focused on once again requiring in-person registrations. Many have pushed against this idea when considering the health crisis around the country is still far from over. 

Many also feel this will end up shrinking the state’s sports betting industry. A huge amount of revenue has been flowing in from sports betting lately. That could begin to slow down, as fewer individuals are expected to register if the in-person rule is set in place. 

The gambling industry in Illinois is changing quickly. Several new gambling venues are set to open their doors here over the next few years. It now seems that Chicago’s first casino could even open up in 2015. We’ll provide more information on this situation as the months go on. 

Are you excited to hear about the casino opening in Chicago? Let us know in the comments section below! 

In-Person Registration for Sports Betting Accounts in Illinois is Now Required

Man on Laptop With a Sportsbook Board and Football Stadium

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker has recalled an order that allowed online registration for Illinois sports bettors. According to a statement from the governor’s office, the suspension of in person sports betting registration is “no longer needed”:

“Illinois is currently in phase four with vaccination rates rapidly increasing and casinos around the state have reopened with safety guidelines in place, so the suspension of in person sports betting registration requirements is no longer needed.”

Giving Land-Based Casinos a Head Start

The Illinois sports betting law, signed by Pritzker in 2019, was written with the in-person registration requirement in order to give land-based casinos a headstart over online gambling giants FanDuel and DraftKings. But when the COVID-19 pandemic struck last year, Pritzker issued an executive order allowing Illinoisans to register online because brick and mortar casinos were ordered closed.

When these casinos re-opened in July, Priztker ended the provision. However, after an uptick in COVID-19 cases in the state, he once again allowed online registration. Last Sunday, the governor’s office issued a statement saying online registration is “no longer needed” and that in-person registration will be required before one can place a sports bet in Illinois.

Putting the Brakes on Illinois Sports Betting

Industry analysts were quick to say that Pritkzer’s new order “puts the brakes” on a fast growing Illinois sports betting market that could’ve easily make it as among the Top 5 in the industry. Legal Illinois sports betting fetched more than $1.6B in bets since its launch in March 2020. These bets have given the state more than $28M in tax revenues.

DraftKings and Fanduel, which held 72% of the total market during the month of January, were quick to tie up with casinos and racetracks to avoid delay. Although this latest move by the governor will not knock off either FanDuel or DraftKings from their lofty places, their inability to register new users could hinder their growth.

A Premature Move?

However, Pritzker’s move may be a premature one as COVID-19 cases are currently on the rise in Illinois. According to the Illinois Department of Health, the number of new cases daily has reached 2,000 for every day since March 24th, with the number of hospitalization cases also increasing.

Officials in Cook County, the largest in the state, said that they have over 600 new cases of COVID-19 in their jurisdiction alone, According to Cook health official Dr. Rachel Rubin, the state could be entering another phase of a “surge” in COVID-19 cases.