Unibet Sportsbook Comes To Illinois After Securing Market Access With Penn

Written By Joe Boozell on September 8, 2020Last Updated on December 8, 2020

Unibet sportsbook is coming to Illinois, Kindred announced on Tuesday.

It will partner with Penn National Gaming to pursue an Illinois sports betting license through Argosy Casino Alton. Argosy launched its retail sportsbook in March without an online partner.

Additionally, the Kindred – Penn agreement gives Unibet access to Hollywood Casino to seek licensing in Ohio.

“Extending our footprint in the US by establishing our brand in two key states like Illinois and Ohio is very exciting for us,” saidManuel Stan, senior vice president of Kindred US, in a statement.

Both contracts have a 10-year term. Additionally, Unibet is currently available in Indiana, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey.

Uncertain Unibet timeframe

The retail sportsbook Argosy & rsquo is already open, but Kindred must first receive the Illinois Gaming Board‘s( IGB ) approval for a sports betting license before it can be used.

Stan hasn’t offered a definitive launch timeline yet but said the goal is to go live “as soon as possible.” He added that Illinois is the next state where Unibet plans to launch.

Kindred has been successful in the US business so far. In the second quarter, its gross income from Pennsylvania and New Jersey was$ 7.7 million.

According to business information, that was an increase of 131 % from the first quarter.

Also room in a market that could be strong in Illinois

It’s well known that Illinois has the possibility to publish garish betting odds, particularly if smart registration lasts past September 19.

Currently, there are only three online sportsbooks in the state: DraftKings, FanDuel and BetRivers.

PointsBetIt’s probably the fifth, but what happens after that is a little mysterious.

For reference, neighboring Indiana currently has eight online sportsbooks, and more are on the way.

However, a book like Unibet could flourish in the Land of Lincoln if it launches within that second level after PointsBet, so it’s not an apples to apples comparison because Indiana has thoroughly embraced online registration while Illinois hasn’t.

Of course, the Sept. 19 date looms large for Illinois sports betting operators. If in-person registration returns, Unibet will likely be vying for the St. Louis market, as Alton is almost a five-hour drive from Chicago.

Alton and St. Louis, however, are merely separated by about 25 miles.

Having said that, it may face fierce opposition in DraftKings at Casino Queen in East St. Louis. The second-largest online casino to enter Illinois was DK, which has gained more notoriety in the states.

What this most probable means for Barstool

With all, Barstool Sports and Penn also have a contract.

Penn operatesThree games are located in Illinois: Hollywood Casino Aurora, Joliet, and Argosy Casino Alton.

None of the three now have a wireless presence, but they all have open retail sportsbooks.

When the Hollywood sportsbooks opened, several Barstool Sports accounts promoted them on social media. So it would seem that once the Barstool sportsbook is ready for launch, it will pursue market access via one of those casinos now that Argosy has its own dance partner.

Barstool is tentatively launching in Pennsylvania the following month, but Illinois’ ideas are still in the early stages.

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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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