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!

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.

Rivers Casino to Open First Illinois Sportsbook in Time for March Madness

Sports Betting CartoonJust in time for March Madness, one of sports betting’s hottest times of the year, Illinois just received approval on Friday to open up the first sportsbook in the state.

The BetRivers sportsbook at Rivers Casino will be open and ready to take bets beginning at noon on Monday. Eddie Olcyzk, former Chicago Blackhawks star, was given the honors to place the very first bet.

The Illinois Gaming Board finally granted the 4,840-square-foot BetRivers Sportsbook approval to start taking bets on March 9.

The casino, who is owned by Kentucky-based gambling giant Churchill Downs and Chicago-based Rush Street Gaming, said it plans to launch its official BetRivers.com website and mobile app later this year.

6 Illinois Casinos Applied for Sports Betting Status

Rivers was just one of six Illinois casinos in the state who submitted applications for sports wagering licenses.

In December, the gaming board opened up the application process, with applicants hoping to gain approval in time for March Madness.

Hollywood Casinos, which has locations in Joliet, Aurora, and Argon Casino Alton, located near St. Louis, will be releasing information on the status of their sportsbook rollouts in the “coming days.”

Grand Victoria Casino in Elgin hasn’t responded to a request for comment yet. Par-A-Dice Hotel and Casino in East Peoria is further back in the application process than the rest of the casinos.

The Illinois Sports Wagering Act

The Illinois Sports Wagering Act grants the state’s 10 casinos, three horse tracks, and the seven largest sports venues in the state (they must offer 17,000-plus seating capacity) the allowance to operate a sports gaming license.

Within 18 months of the first on-site license launching, three additional, online-only, licenses will be issued. This delayed allowance on mobile sports betting is referred to as the “penalty box” provision in the press.

Sports Betting Licensee Fees

When applying for initial sports wagering licenses, fees must be collected. Take a look at the differing fees among Illinois’ casinos:

  • Alton Argosy: $1,948,186
  • Aurora Hollywood: $5,731,926
  • Des Plaines Rivers: $10,000,000
  • Elgin Grand Victoria: $7,801,967
  • Joliet Harrah’s: $8,581,742
  • Joliet Hollywood: $5,779,948
  • Metropolis Harrah’s: $3,420,849
  • Peoria Par-a-Dice: $3,641,064
  • Rock Island: $3,315,761
  • Louis Casino Queen: $4,975,750

As the chart shows, Des Plaines Rivers casino had to pay out the highest fee for licensing, while Alton Argosy had the lowest application fee.

March Madness Sports Betting Stats

March Madness is a prime betting season for sports bettors. According to the American Gaming Association (AGA), an estimated 47 million Americans planned to wager $8.5 million on the NCAA Tournament in 2019.

With sports wagering becoming more legalized throughout the country, that number is only expected to go up, and this year, Illinois will get a chance to add to the stats.

Take a look at the staggering March Madness statistics found by the AGA:

  • 47 million adults in the US will wager on the NCAA Tournament.
  • 40 million people will fill out a bracket and wager $4.6 billion doing so.
  • 18 million Americans will bet $3.9 billion at some form of sportsbook.
  • 4 million will bet with an illegal bookie.
  • 2 million will bet on an illegal offshore website.
  • 1 million will wager through a regulated retail or online sportsbook.

About BetRivers Sportsbook at Rivers Casino

From their official website:

BetRivers features a LED High Definition Wall and premium stadium seating sure to make you feel like you’re at the game. Monitors line the room and surround the 26-seat bar outfitted with tabletop video poker. 

BetRivers Sportsbook is currently accepting applications for Sportsbook writers and ambassadors.

Sports Betting in Illinois Will Go Live in Time for March Madness

Basketball on Two TV ScreensJust in time for one of the biggest sport’s betting events of the year, March Madness, sports betting in Illinois will finally go live.

That gives sports bettors in the state a lot to celebrate about. Not only will Illinois bettors be able to bet at casino sportsbooks, but they will be able to bet through those casino’s mobile apps as well. After sports betting officially goes live, after 18 months, mobile sports betting will only be available through online casinos, such as FanDuel and DraftKings.

According to Governor JB Pritzker’s press secretary, Jordan Abudayyeh:

“The Governor is pleased that Illinois sportsbooks will open for business by March Madness, generating revenue to rebuild universities, hospitals and other facilities across the state,” Abudayyeh said.

While no official date has been released for sports betting to go live, it will likely be before March 17, which is the first game of the men’s NCAA basketball tournament.

How Illinois Has Been Preparing for Sports Betting

In Illinois, three casinos issued out temporary sports betting operating permits. Those casinos include Des Plaines’ Rivers Casino, Alton’s Argosy Casino, and Elgin’s Grand Victoria Casino.

Last June, the General Assembly passed a mass gambling expansion package, and have been ironing out the details and rules that would govern sports betting since then.

Rep. Mike Zalewski, D-Summit, a key player who helped push sports betting legislation through the General Assembly, remained optimistic throughout the long process that led up to this point. He offered this optimistic foresight into the state of sports betting last month:

“I think with the introduction of the second round of rules that were introduced last week … I expect that hopefully we will be able to place a legal sports bet by March Madness – that’s my aspirational goal,” Zalewski said. “I hope for March Madness but the sooner the better. A lot of work went into this and I’m excited about the opportunity.”

March Madness Sports Betting Stats

According to the American Gaming Association (AGA), an estimated $8.5 billion was wagered during last year’s March Madness alone. With more states offering legalized sports betting, that number is only expected to increase.

Here are AGA’s current statistics for March Madness betting:

  • 47 million adults in the US will wager on the NCAA Tournament.
  • 40 million people will fill out a bracket and wager $4.6 billion doing so.
  • 18 million Americans will bet $3.9 billion at some form of sportsbook.
  • 2.4 million will bet with an illegal bookie.
  • 5.2 million will bet on an illegal offshore website.
  • 4.1 million will wager through a regulated retail or online sportsbook.

Types of March Madness Bets

Futures of one of the most popular bets you can place during March Madness, and they are bets you can make all season long. The most common type of futures bet is picking the winner of the national championship. Other futures bets including choosing which conference will win the title, and which player will be crowned “most outstanding player.”

Happy betting, Illinois!

Haven Gaming LLC Reveals Plans for Casino in Danville, IL

Over the next several years, five new casinos are expected to open in Illinois. The state government here believes that casinos will help bring the state millions of dollars in additional revenue every year. Recently, a major developer revealed its plans for a casino in Danville, IL.

Illinois Symbol

If these plans are approved, Danville will receive more than just a casino. It will be home to an entire resort. Today, we’re going to look at the details of this new plan. We’ll also talk about some of the other areas of the state where casinos will open. Let’s get into it!

Illinois’ New Capital Plan Allows for New Casinos to Open

Many states around the country are beginning to expand their gambling industries. PASPA’s removal has allowed every state to set laws on sports betting. Several states have also recently chosen to legalize online casino gambling. It’s a great time to be a gambling fan in this county.

For months, politicians in Illinois discussed ways to generate more revenue. In June, Governor JB Pritzker revealed the state’s new capital plan, claiming it would “fix what’s broken in Illinois.” To the surprise of many, this capital plan allows for five new casinos to open up around the state.

The $45 billion plan is said to be the largest in the state’s history. This capital plan will help to reconstruct roads, bridges, and schools.

For the first time ever, lawmakers have approved a casino to open in Chicago. Unfortunately, many of the country’s top casino operators are voicing their concerns about running a casino in the Windy City. High tax rates and an overly saturated market are making it difficult for the state’s Gaming Commission to find a company interested in operating a Chicago casino.

This week, a major developer revealed its plans for a casino in Danville, IL.

Plans for a Casino in Danville, IL Are Presented to City Council

Danville is one of five Illinois cities set to host a new casino. Since this capital plan was first announced, several companies have announced their interest in opening a gambling venue here. Haven Gaming LLC was eventually granted a license to build and operate a casino in this city.

Recently, this company presented its official plans for the casino in Danville, IL. Interestingly, this company intends to open a resort-style gambling establishment. If approved, Haven Gaming will open a venue that includes a hotel, spa, several restaurants, a swimming pool and lazy river, live entertainment venue, and more.

Not many expected such an expansive plan from this company. Bill Bembenek, an official at Haven Gaming LLC, recently commented on these plans to the media.

“This is more than just the typical casino. It will be a resort complex. A destination. A place that people will be excited to come to, and more importantly, more excited to want to come back to,” he said. “We’ve opened similar resorts like this across the country, and this is really the new evolution of what gaming really is. It’s a multi-level experience.”

Haven Gaming hopes to have this casino-resort up and running by the end of 2020. The company claims that the project will result in more than 400 construction jobs and 1,000 permanent jobs within the casino.

Illinois Still Unlikely to Legalize Online Casinos

Lawmakers in Illinois are showing a unique willingness to expand the state’s land-based betting industry. Unfortunately, no one here is expressing much of an interest in regulating online casinos. As of now, only three states in the country have regulated internet casino markets.

Both online and land-based sports wagering all set to become available here over the next few months. With this in mind, it’s very possible that officials here will choose to regulate online casino websites in the future.

There are already some fantastic online casinos in IL that are available right now. These websites are not regulated by the government, yet almost all of them are perfectly safe and offer a wide range of fantastic gambling options. Check some of them out today!

We now know more about the plans for the casino in Danville, IL. This new gambling venue will likely become the best in the state. Hopefully, it helps to bring Danville and Illinois millions of dollars in revenue each year.