This Bookmaker Should Be Happy About Illinois Sports Betting Mess, And It’s Not Rivers – Legal Sports Report

The agenda for today’s Illinois Gaming Board meeting does not mention Rush Street, DraftKings, or FanDuel in the sports betting section.

In reality, though, any discussion of sports betting in Illinois returns to those bookmakers. Governor J.B. Pritzker‘s abrupt move Friday to restore the state’s in-person signup requirement for sports wagering accounts assures it.

Outside the melee stands PointsBet, which could score a victory as a result of the Rush Street vs. DFS fight. Sports betting partner Hawthorne Race Course received its master IL sports betting license today from the IGB in a unanimous vote.

With DraftKings unable to sign up customers remotely, PointsBet’s strategic move to secure prime real estate 10 miles west of downtown Chicago could pay major dividends. As Credit Suisse analysts Alice Li and Larry Gandler noted earlier this month, PointsBet’s decision to prioritize Illinois hinged on grabbing market share from Chicago’s 2.7 million people before remote signups began in late 2021.

PointsBet CEO Johnny Aitken released a statement after the vote, reading in part:

“In combination with our premium retail locations conveniently located in and around metro Chicago, we are sure we’ll be providing the Illinois consumer with exactly what they’ve been craving, both in-person and online.”

Wild few months in Illinois sports betting

Retail sports betting in Illinois started in March, less than a year after lawmakers passed a complex sports betting bill. Only Rush Street and Penn National launched