USA – It has been reported today that sports betting has officially launched in the US state of Illinois, also known as the Land of Lincoln, with the launch of BetRivers Sportsbook located at the Rivers Casino in Des Plaines.
Rivers Casino is a casino establishment, established in 2011, in Des Plaines, Illinois. The venue is majority-owned by Churchill Downs Incorporated and managed by minority owner; Rush Street Gaming.
Churchill Downs Incorporated is the parent company of Churchill Downs; a multi US-state, publicly traded company with racetracks and casinos including: Calder Casino and Race Course, Oxford Casino and Turfway Park among others.
According to reports from PlayIllinois.com, the introduction of the sports betting industry could be worth an estimated six-hundred and fifty million dollars in gross revenue.
PlayIllinois.com’s lead analyst Dustin Gouker commented on the news and what it means for the state:
“Illinois’ potential is enormous, but it has a long way to go to become a major player relative to the largest markets in the U.S. Launching the industry is obviously a momentous first step. But because of regulatory roadblocks to online sports betting, it will be years before Illinois can enjoy the same kind of boom that we’ve seen in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Indiana.”
Gouker elaborated on the details and why the state will appeal to both businesses and consumers associated with the sports betting industry:
“Illinois’ high licensing fees for online operators and its in-person registration requirements will undoubtedly stunt the growth of the industry. Even with the high fees, the appeal of the Illinois market will eventually be too much to resist for the country’s largest operators. But neighbour Indiana will be able to continue to cash in on the Chicago market until Illinois gets up to speed.”
Lastly; Gouker concluded on why this is a step in the right direction, but that there is still a lot of work to do:
“The Illinois model isn’t ideal, but for Illinois bettors today is unquestionably a good day. Most of the state’s residents should be able to place a bet in relatively close proximity. And that is much better than the alternative.”