Heating Up: PointsBet Obtains Sports Betting Permit, Ramping Up Race For Illinois Dominance

Written By Derek Helling on July 17, 2020Last Updated on September 11, 2020

Millions of dollars in control will be the reward in the competition to become the top sports betting site in Illinois.

PointsBetSportsbookhas a mare in that contest right now.

PointsBet has been granted permission by the Illinois Gaming Board ( IGB) to conduct both online and offline wagering. The technician stands to gain a sizable portion of the state-of-the-art control.

Illinois’s progress for the PointsBet Sportsbook

Instead of waiting to try to get one of Illinois’ standalone, online-only licenses, PointsBet has taken the same path as DraftKings and WilliamHill into the Prairie State.

PointsBet has an operator agreement with HawthorneRacecourse in Cicero, which is a southwest Chicago suburb. When the sportsbook goes live, PointsBet will have a presence in Indiana, Illinois, Iowa and NewJersey.

The key issue is whether PointsBet will function more similarly in Iowa than it does in Indiana and New Jersey. A portable sports betting app is available from PointsBet in IN and NJ.

But, PointsBet Iowa customers can get the casino either physically or online. In Illinois, that might also be the way ahead.

There is a significant parallel between the two claims.

Like IA, IL also requires in-person registration for online wagering. However, Gov. JB Pritzker has temporarilysuspended the requirement amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Pritzker could rescind that order at any time.

The measure is still in effect in Illinois until the first online sportsbook begins accepting bets, even though Iowa & rsquo’s mandate expires on January 1st. According to Illinois law, the IGB cannot concern that kind of registration until 540 days have passed since April 9 of this year, when RiversCasino made its first land-based wager.

Until the in-person need expires, PointsBet might hold off on releasing mobile apps in Illinois. There is no indication of when the betting in the Land of Lincoln will begin taking bets.

IL books’ release time is also unknown.

PointsBet keeps quiet about when it anticipates beginning accepting bets in Illinois. Although the Hawthorne’s proximity to Chicago makes it a desirable location, there are still mitigating components.

One is the uncertain status of US major sporting events. More college conferences are canceling or postponing sports, and the status of other leagues’ schedules is precarious.

For example, Major League Soccer has already had to postpone matches and disqualify teams from its ongoing tournament. PointsBet may want to withhold a major rollout in IL until circumstances are less volatile.

Originally, PointsBet targeted this month as its go-live window. That was before the COVID-19 pandemic, however.

However, holding out could be expensive as well. The end of this month and the beginning of August could be a fantastic opportunity to start, particularly close to Chicago, if things go well for sports teams.

The NBA is reportedly considering a second “bubble” for its eight franchisees who won’t be part of its resumption in Chicago. That would be almost custom-made for moving to Illinois to place a life bet.

Additionally, the pressure is on to keep BetRivers — the only online sportsbook operating in IL right now — from gaining too much of a market share lead. That pressure will intensify if DraftKings or William Hill enter Illinois soon.

There is no doubt about the value of the option, however, with the Chicago sports business up for grabs, even though there are still questions about how and when PointsBet will go live in the state.

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Helling, Derek

Helling, Derek is a lead writer for PlayUSA and the manager of BetHer. He is a 2013 graduate of the University of Iowa and covers the intersections of sports with business and the law.

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