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.