Will BetMGM Come To Illinois? FanDuel-Fairmount Deal Could Be Invite In Disguise

Written By Joe Boozell on November 19, 2020Last Updated on March 3, 2021

It was significant reports in and of itself when Fairmount Park changed its name to FanDuel Sportsbook and Horse Racing.

But an aspect of the deal that didn’t seem particularly interesting at first glance could make a notable impact on the Illinois sports betting landscape.

FanDuel announced that it would transfer its sports betting license from Par-A-Dice Casino to the horse track. It will continue to operate the Par-A-Dice retail sportsbook, a spokesperson told Play Illinois, but Illinois only allows one mobile skin per entity.

So, if FanDuel Sportsbook is switching its mobile license over to the horse track, that means the mobile license affiliated with Par-A-Dice would be up for grabs.

Does a fresh controller take advantage of the chance?

BetMGM appears to be a reasonable fit.

BetMGM applied for an Illinois sports betting license on Sept. 4. The application is still pending.

What’s curious about that is BetMGM’s lack of an obvious pathway into the market. In order to avoid the 18-month “penalty box,” operators must partner with a land-based casino, racetrack or sports venue.

Looking around the state, and there aren’t a lot of options left unless other sports franchises follow the Chicago Cubs’ lead by opening an in-stadium sportsbook.

As for Illinois casinos, four of the 10 have major sports betting partners:

Once it’s exist, Barstool is probably going to be used at one of the Hollywood games.

With Twin River’stransformation into Bally’s, Jumer’s Casino & Hotel is likely to have some sort of Bally’s branding once it’s ready to offer sports betting.

That leaves a Hollywood Casino, Harrah’s Joliet, Harrah’s Metropolisand, oh yeah, Par-A-Dice. At this point, neither Harrah’s casino has shown interest in sports betting. Penn National Gaming owns both Hollywood casinos.

However, Boyd Gaming owns Par-A-Dice. And that’s good news for the BetMGM sports app in Illinois.

Boyd and BetMGM have a relationship.

The two entities struck a deal in 2018. From that press release:

In areas where Boyd Gaming or MGM Resorts operate real casino – casinos and online licenses are available, both parties will have the opportunity to offer online and mobile gaming systems & ndash, including sports betting, casino gaming, and poker nandash. Each business will have the opportunity to increase their online and mobile entertainment presence across 15 states as a result of this market entry agreement.

While it’s not certain that BetMGM may obtain the Par-A-Dice registration, all indications point to that possibility.

The most well-known operator no currently operating in Illinois is probably BetMGM. We know it has an interest based on its pending passport application. FanDuel & rsquo’s action creates the perfect door into the state.

When did FanDuel formally move its license is a crucial question. It & rsquo is unclear because that will require approval from the Illinois Gaming Board.

2021 ought to be filled with brand-new Illinois providers.

Illinois recorded $305.2 million in September handle, a as the market develops and more innovative operators enter the competition, that number may increase.

Any reputable sports betting providers in the US does give the Prairie State top priority.

As of now, we know Unibet and Barstool plan to launch in the Land of Lincoln in 2021. Jumer’s (likely Bally’s) would also like to offer sports betting in 2021, and we laid out the case for BetMGM above.

In Illinois, the sudden smart registration interval has given quick actors an advantage. However, it & rsquo is still a enticing market for new operators because more growth is anticipated.

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Boozell, Joe

Boozell, Joe has also been a college sports writer for NCAA.com since 2015. His work has also appeared in Bleacher Report, FoxSports.com and NBA.com. Growing up, Boozell squared off against both Anthony Davis and Frank Kaminsky in the Chicagoland basketball scene … you can imagine how that went.

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