Fairmount Park Gets Approval For Illinois Sports Betting License

Odds Board and Money
Fairmount Park’s applications for an Illinois sports betting license was approved 4-0 by the Illinois Gaming Board during a special meeting held on Thursday morning. During the meeting, Fairmount Park was also given “preliminary suitable” status to accept casino games.

With its approval, Fairmount Park becomes the 9th applicant granted a Master Sports Wagering License by the Illinois Gaming Board since June. The approved license is valid for four years. Fairmount Park’s sports betting provider will be FanDuel and it applied for the license as FanDuel Sportsbook and Horse Racing.

First Sportsbook at Multiple Retail Venues

FanDuel has been live in Lincoln State since since August 28th when it launched its sports betting app through a partnership with Boyd Gaming’s Par-A-Dice-Casino in East Peoria. That consortium started accepting legal Illinois sports betting transactions last September 10th.

But while FanDuel is the first Illinois sports betting company to operate in multiple venues, it won’t be the last. PointsBet, who has a partnership with Hawthorne Race Course, is planning to open three Chicago suburban off-track betting sites in the near future while DraftKings, a partner of Casino Queen, is expected to open a sportsbook at Wrigley Field in partnership with the Chicago Cubs.

Gaming Expansion Bill

Horse racing tracks were allowed to apply for casino and sports betting licenses as part of the gaming expansion bill signed into a law by Gov. J.B. Pritzker in June 2019. FanDuel had been in talks with Fairmount as early as February as a workaround to the 18-month waiting period from the issuance of the first sports betting license to when the Illinois Gaming Board can accept an online-only application.

With its approval, Fairmount Park thus joins Hawthorne Race Course as the only race tracks in the state permitted to conduct sports betting activities and given “preliminary suitable” status to add casino games. Arlington International Racecourse, the third race track in the state, did not apply for an Illinois sports betting or a racino license.

If its Racino application is approved, Fairmount Park stands to offer up to 900 gaming positions at slot machines and table games. The total cost of the expansion has been estimated at $50M. There is no timetable yet for the expansion as it is dependent on how fast the approval process goes.

Wilmorite To Build Casino In Danville

Illinois
Wilmorite Management Group secured an approval from the Danville City Council last Tuesday night to build and operate a casino the Central Illinois town near the Indiana state line.

The approval came after a presentation made by Danville Development LLC, an Illinois registered company owned by the Wilmot family which owns and operates the Wilmorite Management Group in Rochester, New York.

Location Has Been Selected

During the presentation, Wilmorite vice president of gaming Jimmy Wilmot said that they have chosen 204 Eastgate Drive as the location for their casino. The area is the former Morris Flamingo site. The building is owned by Shaheen and Co. and it was once targeted for a cannabis cultivation center.

The site is on the north side of Interstate 74 and west side of Lynch Road. Wilmorite has committed to spend $600,000 to help the city address the sewer capacity issues that are on the north side of the interstate along that corridor.

The former Morris Flamingo site was a distribution site and warehouse. It has a total area of 110,643 square feet on 11.5 acres. The proposal is for Wimorite to build a new connection between Eastgate Drive and Lynch Road at the front of the parcel.

Phase 1 Expected To Start in Fall of 2021

The proposed casino would have a gaming floor of around 17,000 square feet. The plan also included the construction of a steak house, food court and a parking space with a capacity of over 500 vehicles. The group is also eyeing a 15,000 square foot Phase 2 expansion and a Phase 3 renovation that will include a 100-room hotel, additional restaurants, and a conference center.

The first phase of construction is expected to begin in the fall of 2021 and would be completed before the end of the year. The initial phase includes 500 slot machines and a total of 10 gaming tables including one for craps. Overall, the entire project is estimated to be completed in six years.

According to Wilmorite, they will spend around $30M when they break ground and $100M by the time they open their casino doors for the first time. Upon the approval of its license by the Illionis Gaming Board, Wilmorite will give $3M to the city who will use the amount for its riverside development project, the Boys and Girls Club, and other projects within the city.