Illinois Approves In-State College Betting
A decision has finally been made by Illinois lawmakers on the subject of betting on in-state college sporting events.
A change is coming to the Illinois sports betting industry, but it’s not a change that will bring in a ton of new revenue.
Senate Bill 521 was recently approved by the House of Representatives, and Illinois residents will soon be able to bet on their favorite local teams. A provision was included with this new bill, and that betting must be done at the retail sportsbooks in the state.
Illinois offers both retail and online sports betting, but more than 90 percent of the betting is done online and on mobile sportsbooks. This new law change won’t bring in much new business, but lawmakers are happy that things are headed in the right direction.
These bets must also be of the “Tier 1” kind, which means that they must be single-game, pregame wagers. Sportsbooks can’t offer any prop betting options on college sporting events, and live bets won’t be offered either.
Representative Mike Zalewski has been the lawmaker pushing for this change, but he was facing some big-time opposition. Illinois Athletic Director Josh Whitman was the most outspoken of the school personnel that wanted to keep the current prohibition in place.
This new law will go into effect on July 1, 2021, and it will run for a two-year trial period. Lawmakers will then revisit the issue at some point in 2023 and a permanent rule change could be put in place at that time.
Illinois brought in more than $633 million in total handle for the month of March, and that was without bettors being able to bet on the University of Illinois or Loyola-Chicago. The Round of 32 matchup between those two teams could have brought in massive numbers at the sportsbooks.
This new rule change affects all levels of college athletics and is not limited to Division 1 sporting events. College basketball and college football will be the two biggest markets offered by sportsbooks.
DraftKings Announces Expansion at Casino Queen
The DraftKings Sportsbook at Casino Queen is getting an upgrade, according to an announcement from the sports betting operator. DraftKings has dedicated $10 million to the expansion that will include a new sportsbook and dining options.
This project is expected to be completed by the end of the year, and it will strengthen the hold that DraftKings currently has on the St. Louis market. The current square footage of the DraftKings Sportsbook is 40,000 square feet, and the expansion will add on an additional 30,000 square feet.
The Casino Queen sportsbook has brought in more than $15 million in retail handle since the industry launched, which is the third-highest total in Illinois. Retail betting continues to struggle to keep up with mobile betting, but the loosening of COVID-19 restrictions should change that.
FanDuel Sportsbook is also open in the St. Louis area as it offers retail sports betting at Fairmount Park in Collinsville. These two market leaders continue to keep in both the DFS and sports betting industries.
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