The newly remodeled Club Hawthorne in Crestwood opened the first non-casino, off-track betting site with a sportsbook in Illinois last week.
Club Hawthorne boasts of a 163-inch HERO LED video wall, two dozen 75-inch TV screens throughout the viewing area, and a state of the art audio system. The venue has leather couches, captain’s chairs, and highboy tables for patrons, with a post COVID-19 capacity of up to 500 people.
The venue shares a building with an off-track retail betting shop which the horse track has operated since 1989 at 13148 Rivercrest Drive. The sportsbook is a partnership between Hawthorne and PointsBet.
Said PointsBet Midwest senior business operations manager Michael Teal:
“This is going to be a place where people can come down with their buddies and enjoy the game.”
First of its Kind
The owners of the new Illinois sports betting shop is advertising the venue as among the first in the country and the first of its kind in Illinois. Other sports betting shops in the state are located at casinos and racetracks.
Hawthorne and Fairmont Park are the only horse tracks licensed for Illinois sports betting.The OTB site in Crestwood is one of three OTB locations where Hawthorne is allowed to conduct legal Illinois sports betting activities as part of the Sports Wagering Act signed into law by Gov. JB Pritzker in 2018. Eventually, Hawthorne will also operate OTB sites in Prospect Heights and Oakbrook Terrace.
American Pro Sports are Main Sources of Bets
American Pro Sports like the NFL, MLB, and MBA are the main sources of Illinois sports betting, accounting for about $600M of the state’s total $941.7M total handle through October. College sports and Motosports accounted for $100M apiece. Online Illinois sports betting began in June 2020 and it accounted for $873.7M of the total handle with the remaining $68M worth of bets wagered in person.
The state is capturing 15% of sports betting revenues via taxes. The taxes collected from sports betting will help pay for public parks, schools, libraries, and various capital projects other than roads and bridges.