Temporary sports betting licenses have been issued by the Illinois Gaming Board.

  • Illinois is finally nearing the time to begin accepting their first legal sports bets, almost a year after legalization.
  • The Illinois Gaming Board has been issuing temporary licenses to applicants for sportsbooks.
  • March Madness is the expected launching timeframe for the operators that have received their permits.

CHICAGO – Legal sports betting in Illinois is becoming more real as the state begins handing out licenses for sportsbooks. Five different casinos have received their temporary licenses to operate IL sportsbooks.

These casinos include Rivers Casinos in Des Plaines, Argosy Casino Alton, the Grand Victoria Casino in Elgin, and Hollywood Casino in both the Joliet and Aurora areas.

All of these businesses with permits do not yet have wagering approval status. Argosy Casino Alton has been the only operator of the five to begin marketing their sportsbook for its eventual opening.

When Can Illinois Expect To See Sports Betting Start?

Those within the sports betting market, as well as Governor J.B. Pritzker all, think that a launch by the start of March Madness is imminent. Each of the five temporarily permitted businesses will more than likely be able to provide patrons with sports betting lounges before March Madness.

Other locations in the state have applied for their sportsbook licenses with the Illinois Gaming Board (IGB) but have not yet received them. The Fairmont Park Racetrack in Collinsville and Par-A-Dice Hotel and Casino in East Peoria are the two stuck in “applicant status.”

The Fairmont is the first horse racing track in the Prairie State to apply for a sports betting license. Most, if not all establishments that have received or will receive their permits soon will be offering wagers on the March Madness games. However, gambling on college sports teams based in Illinois is prohibited by law.

If businesses want to launch their sports betting expansions in the next few weeks, they will all need to have Tier 2 Official League Data Providers.

No casino with a license currently has a provider for league data. This could delay the launch date of sportsbooks for sports bettors in Illinois. All residents that wish to engage in the gambling of sporting events must be 21 years old.

Under the law, there will be a 25% tax rate on all revenue brought in by the gambling on sporting events market. This high tax rate is expected to bring in an estimated $200 million annually. These funds will then be put into various construction that is needed statewide.

With their temporary licenses to operate sportsbooks, the state of legalizing sports betting in Illinois is nearing the finish line.

As for whether the first legal bets will be placed in time for March Madness is anyone’s guess but the odds of that happening are in the Prairie State’s favor.

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