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.

Rivers Casino to Host Criss Angel’s Show in June

When Criss Angel appeared on the world stage, everyone was kind of shocked. If the name sounds familiar to you, then you probably know why people were amazed at his skills and surprised by this extraordinary individual. If Criss Angel doesn’t ring a bell for you, you missed a whole lot of magic in your life. Lucky for you, there is a chance to compensate for that if you happen to be in Las Vegas in June as Rivers Casino will host one of his shows.

In case you didn’t google his name, let us tell you a thing or two about this magician (or even a wizard, if you will). When you type his name in the YouTube search bar, you will find titles such as ‘Chris Rips Bodies Apart.’ Luckily, he is not a serial killer, and all of that is a part of his well-staged magical performance which took magic tricks to the next level. Of course, not all of his tricks include ripping bodies apart, but the majority of them are pretty unusual.

Therefore, if you are up for some exciting magic tricks, make sure to visit the Event Center at Rivers Casino on Sunday, June 9. The show will start at 8 pm, and the tickets are already available for sale with the price starting at $70.

The name of the show is Criss Angel RAW – The Mindfreak Unplugged, which means that we are going to see some serious tricks that will mess with our minds after all. He will provide a unique magic experience that you have never seen before, and that is based on his street performances and mentalism. His illusions are all intimate and will make you shocked and even scared during some tricks.

Prepare to have your mind blown as Criss Angel and his friends perform tricks that are downright shocking and adrenaline-pumping. There is a good reason why his shows are called MINDFREAK, as he is the perfect magician who knows how to perform his tricks flawlessly.

Who is Criss Angel?

Criss’ real name is actually Christopher Nicholas Sarantakos, and he is a professional American magician of Greek descent. He is one of the most popular personalities connected to magic tricks who gained popularity doing some really interesting and life-threatening magic tricks.

His first TV appearance was back in 1994 when he was a performer on a show called Secrets on ABC. Criss supported Clive Barker and his series, and the two decided to make a film called Lord of Illusions. Angel also cooperated with various other celebrities back in the day, including musicians such as Klayton with whom they released the album called Musical Conjurings from the World of Conjuring.

One of the tricks that made Criss Angel popular worldwide happened back in 2002 when he decided to spend 24 hours in water. This trick required a lot of preparation and Criss risked a lot by being a part of it, one of the things at stake being his life. He was inside the tank for 24 hours and allegedly changed 16 oxygen tanks while underwater. However, his skin reacted to being in the water for too long, and he was hospitalized after that, suffering from severe dehydration.

This trick skyrocketed his career, and he is now one of the most famous magicians around the world. He hosted many magic shows and actively tours across the US. Therefore, if you happen to be in Las Vegas in June, make sure not to miss Criss’ show which is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that you should enjoy.

Rivers Casino to Host The Ohio Players in May

The Ohio Players is a popular R&B band which has a huge tour in front of them, and The Event Center at Rivers Casino will be one of their stops. Their performance is scheduled for May 4 at 8 pm, and tickets are already on sale, starting at $25. If you happen to be near Rivers Casino at that time, make sure to check out their performance which is bound to leave you mesmerized, especially if you consider yourself an R&B and funk lover. Their catchy tunes, smooth basslines, and funky groove will not only put everyone to their feet but will also make them move their hips all the way through the show.

Who Are the Ohio Players?

The Ohio Players play music which is related to funk, soul, and R&B. Their peak popularity was back in the 70s when they made songs such as Fire and Love Rollercoaster. Some of their best performing singles also include songs such as Funky Worm and Skin TIght. One of their biggest achievements actually happened back in 2013 when they were introduced to the R&B Music Hall of Fame at the University of Cleveland, Ohio.

The band was formed in Dayton, Ohio way back in 1959, and their original name was Ohio Untouchables with initial band members Robert Wand on vocals and guitar, Marshall “Rock” Jones on bass, Clarence “Satch” Satchel on saxophone and guitar, Cornelius Johnson on drums, and Ralph “Pee Wee” Middlebrooks on trumpet and trombone. At the time they were formed, they started touring as a backing group to The Falcons, who had some popularity back in the day.

After initial vocalist Robert Ward walked out, the group decided to keep on working, adding two more singers instead of Ward. They were Bobby Lee Fears and Dutch Robinson. During that time, the band was renamed to The Ohio Players and adopted a music format which they play even today. In 1967, they decided to add another vocalist, Helena Ferguson Kilpatrick, only to disband in 1970.

They did not take long to reunite with new band members, and after a couple of singles that were popular locally, they managed to publish Funky Worm, which peaked on the Billboard R&B and even made it to the Billboard Hot 100 in the Top 20 list. Soon after that, they signed with Mercury Records and band’s career skyrocketed.

From 1973 to 1976, the band had a couple of singles that all made it to various top lists, including their popular hit Love Rollercoaster which topped both R&B and Pop charts.

Band members who formed the Ohio Untouchables are not among the living anymore, but their music and their ideas live on with the Ohio Players who have dozens of songs up their sleeve and still continue to actively tour all over the US. Despite their age, the funky rhythms and groovy basslines are still there, as they are still able to rock around the clock.

Their music is very similar to Clinton’s Parliament and Funkadelic as they all belonged to the same period when this type of funky music was making a revolution in the music industry. Songs such as Love Rollercoaster really made the difference back then.

Bill Keena is the General Manager of Rivers Casino, and he stated that the Ohio Players had a classic R&B sound that was incomparable. Furthermore, he added that they were really excited to have them perform at The Events Center.