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US – Illinois gears up for sports betting launch with more licences handed out

By - 4 March 2020

Three more Illinois casinos and one racetrack have joined the queue for sports betting licenses, taking the total to seven as the new sector gears up to a full launch.

Penn National has applied for sports betting at its Hollywood Casino locations in Aurora and Joliet as has Par-A-Dice Hotel and Casino in East Peoria, each of which were given temporary sports betting licenses by the Illinois Gaming Board. The Fairmount Park racetrack in Collinsville has also applied for a license.

Rivers Casino in Des Plaines, the Grand Victoria Casino in Elgin and the Argosy Casino Alton, all received temporary licenses last month with both expected to launch in time for March Madness on March 17.

Patrick Skarr, vice president of the public affairs firm Culloton + Bauer Luce represnting Rush Street Interactive, said: “We remain optimistic we will open our BetRivers Sportsbook by March Madness.”

Governor JB Pritzker’s press Secretary Jordan Abudayyeh said: “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.”

Tax has been set at 25 percent of the gross gaming revenue.

State Representative Norine Hammond said: “The gaming expansion is the funding to be used for capital funding strictly and so that would be for any building around the state that the state own. Anticipating the revenue is one thing, but actually seeing what will be there is another.”

As the fifth-largest state, Illinois is tipped to become one of the top earning sports betting states with revenue of between $2.8bn to $5.2bn by 2023.

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