FanDuel Becomes Second to Launch in Illinois via Race Track

FanDuel is set to become the second sports book in Illinois to launch sports betting operations in partnership with a race track, as the Illinois Gaming Board (IGB) approved today its license.

The Flutter-owned sports betting brand is set to launch in the state partnering with Fairmount Park race track, following in the footsteps of PointsBet, which went live September 30, partnering with the Hawthorne Race Course, a race track just 10 miles off Chicago.

Both the Hawthorne and Fairmount would need to pass final licensing requirements before their respective casinos can be open, while the third and only remaining race track in Illinois, Arlington International Racecourse, did not apply for either a casino or sports wagering license.

Sportsbook and Horse Racing License

During the special board meeting, the 4 members of the IGB unanimously approved a preliminary suitability for FanDuel and Fairmount Park to run casino operations at the race track. A master sports wagering license for 4 years has been issued for FanDuel Sportsbook and Horse Racing operations.

FanDuel set foot in Illinois by the end of August, when the sports book operator launched its sports betting app through the Par-A-Dice Casino in East Peoria, in partnership with the casino owner Boyd Gaming.

FanDuel’s partner, Fairmount Park race track, is located in Collinsville, about 12 miles from St.Louis, and is currently under state coronavirus restrictions, according to the information on its website. The 2021 live horse racing season at the track is scheduled to launch April 27.

Online Registration Still Available

Illinois sports betting legislation requires each sports bettor to register in-person at a land-based gaming facility, prior to any wagering activities, but this requirement was eased by Governor Pritzker.

In September, due to the second coronavirus wave, the state governor extended the period for online registration for bettors, which was set to expire September 19, initially until October 17, but on October 16, Governor Pritzker further extended Executive Order 2020-41, to allow registration for sports wagering online until at least November 14.

Other Board Decisions

The IGB accepted during its meeting Thursday 8 amended applications for casino licenses, 3 for Waukegan, Rivers Waukegan Casino, American Place and North Point Casino, 3 for South Suburban, Southland Live, South Suburban Development and Wind Creek, 1 for Hard Rock Casino Rockford and 1 for Walker’s Bluff Casino Resort in Williamson County.

The board members will come back with findings regarding the suitability for casino operations in Rockford and Williamson County within the next 6 months, while reviews for the RFP in Waukegan and Cook Counties would take at least 6 months based on submission as per local laws.

The next meeting for the gaming regulator in the state is scheduled to take place November 17.

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