DraftKings Launches Mobile and Retail Sportsbook in Illinois

The legal sports betting market has been live in Illinois since March 2020, and from mid-June on, online sports betting was launched in the state.

The big players in the market have taken notice, and in a major development for bettors and sports investors in the state, DraftKings is now entering Illinois with a mobile and retail offering. The ScoreMetrics Lab is here with the details on the latest developments in the Prairie State!

DraftKings strikes a deal with Casino Queen

In a multi-year arrangement, DraftKings is opening a brick-and-mortar sportsbook inside the Casino Queen and will launch their mobile app in the state.

For a recap of the regulations in place in the state, this is what we wrote when the market went live in March 2020:

”Sports bettors will have to travel to the casino for now to place wagers, but a mobile betting offering is expected to go live at some point later this year. Rivers is currently already offering customers the chance to pre register for an online account. According to state law, customers will have to visit an approved casino before they can register an online betting account.

Casinos with sports betting permits are currently the only entities that are allowed to offer online sports betting in Illinois. That restriction will be lifted in 18 months, after which online only operators are allowed to enter the market.”

By partnering up with Casino Queen and opening a retail book, DraftKings is avoiding that 18-month wait to enter the market. Being the first nationwide operator that goes live with a mobile betting app in the state could be a major advantage for the company.

DraftKings is reportedly aiming to be in operation by the time the MLB and NBA seasons return. Their stock has been on a tear recently as our head trader, John Todora, covered in this video. Expect to see them entering any new market that becomes available.

Promise in the Illinois sports betting market

Besides the aforementioned Casino Rivers Des Plaines and their BetRivers sportsbook, Argosy Casino also has a permit for a sportsbook in the state.

Several other companies have also applied for sports gambling licenses, including FanDuel, who have reportedly been in talks to acquire the Fairmount Park racetrack and establish their sportsbook operations there.

The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated online sports betting in Illinois after mobile betting was permitted, mandatory in-person registrations were suspended, and residents were allowed to instead register from their computers or mobile devices. BetRivers quickly capitalized on this and went live with their mobile app just a few weeks later.

Chicago is the third largest city in the country, while the state is the sixth most populous. And with five professional major-league sports teams in Illinois, the interest towards sports in the state is tremendous.

Combine that with the now loosened restrictions and you have a mix that interests all of the big players in the sports betting market. We will most likely see others enter the market soon.

Having more options benefits sports traders

We are certainly happy for sports traders in Illinois and are hoping for more bookmakers to enter the state. Why? Because competition generates more favorable lines, and better services in general.

It’s extremely important for sports investors to shop for the best available lines. Gaining a better margin in each of your trades will make a huge difference in the long run.

When we wrote about shopping for lines earlier this year, we gave a very simple example of how this could benefit an investor:

“Let’s say that two NFL teams are facing each other, and for the sake of keeping the example as simple as possible, let’s say that they have both averaged 25 points per game during this season.

Let’s also say that both of them have rather weak defenses, and after analyzing the matchup you think that there is a high potential for the points total to go over in this game.

Now would be the time to check out what different bookmakers are offering for the over/under line of the game. Maybe you’ll find that most have it at 50.5, but some offer 49.

In this case, you should naturally invest in the lowest number that you can get for the over/under line.”

Hopefully opportunities like these will arise for investors in the Prairie State with the market becoming increasingly competitive.

To prepare for the return of sports, and to learn everything you need to know about smart investing in the sports betting market, check out our head trader John Todora’s new book – “Zero Correlation Investing – The Score Metrics Secret”. It’s currently on sale for a limited time, so go get yours now!

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