Legal bets on sporting events can officially be accepted in Illinois on March 9.

  • Illinois has become the 15th state to accept a legal sports bet.
  • The Illinois Gaming Board has issued seven sportsbook licenses to various operations in the state.
  • The first bet will be placed by Hockey Hall of Famer Eddie Olczyk.
  • BetRivers will accept bets in their 4,840-square-foot sports bar lounge.
  • With over two dozen self-betting kiosks, bettors will also be able to bet on sports in one of the five betting windows.

CHICAGO – The town of Des Plaines, Illinois will see their first legal sports bets Monday afternoon with the sportsbook at Rivers Casino. Named BetRivers Sportsbook, this is just one of seven locations that have received temporary permits to operate by the Illinois Gaming Board (IGB).

They are the first of the seven to open their doors and kick off the legal sports betting market in Illinois.

BetRivers Sportsbook

BetRivers Sportsbook at the Rivers Casino in Des Plaines, Illinois will be offering their patrons stadium seating along with an HD LED Wall television.

Multiple TVs and monitors along with video poker machines at a 26-seat tabletop bar will be available to engage sports bettors on various levels. Doors will open at noon on Monday where avid sports bettors can begin placing their first legal wagers, including numerous bets on the upcoming March Madness Tournament.

Other Locations In Illinois

The Illinois Gaming Board has issued temporary permits to six other locations in the Prairie State. Each one of these gaming operators hopes to launch by March Madness, which begins on March 17.

This gives sports betting venues in Illinois a little over a week to prepare for their openings.

The other Illinois sports betting locations that should open up for residents to gamble on sporting events are the Grand Victoria Casino in Elgin, Hollywood Casino in Joliet and Aurora, Argosy Casino Alton, Par-A-Dice Hotel and Casino in East Peoria and the Fairmont Park Racetrack in Collinsville.

While it may take a few places longer than the March Madness deadline, BetRivers Sportsbook has beaten them all to the punch for gamblers to have someplace to go and wager on the biggest event in college basketball.

Currently, the only options for betting on sports matchups are retail locations. None of the temporarily permitted operators have entered the application process for internet sports betting platforms.

Each license to open a mobile sportsbook application comes with a cost of $20 million.

The other part that stands in the way is the in-person registration that would be required by law for those that wished to open an online sports betting account.

This requirement is set to be erased 18 months after the first internet sportsbook opens in Illinois. This means that some company/companies will need to take the $20 million hit for others to follow suit in 18 months.

But why would others wait? Because mobile betting operators do not think the steep fee is worth risking because of the amount of business they’d lose due to the in-person signup clause.

Regardless, legal sports betting in Illinois has finally begun to take shape almost a year after legalization and land-based sportsbooks are only the beginning of what’s to come.

The law allows for retail sports betting at both casinos and racetracks, internet and mobile sports betting applications for those establishments as well as companies that want to run strictly online-only sportsbooks, plus stadiums and various lottery retailers will be allowed to offer sports bets to their customers.

Sports bettors in Illinois will have innumerable options and with that, it’s only fitting that their launch is “Madness.”

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