Rivers Casino Des Plaines once again made history Thursday by becoming the first casino in Illinois to launch mobile sports betting operations. Having opened the first retail sports book in the state in March, the gaming venue operated by Churchill Downs Incorporated went live with BetRivers.com sports betting app, powered by Rush Street Interactive.
Casinos Closed But Sports Wagering Still Possible
Illinois residents who wish to register for the mobile betting service can now do that from the comfort of their homes, as due to the ongoing health crisis, St.Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed an executive order in early June to allow the bypassing of the obligatory by law in-person registration that requires a visit to a brick-and-mortar gaming facility. Casinos in the state that have been shut down since mid-March to help curb the virus infection threat are still closed, with no set date for their re-opening.
BetRivers online and mobile sports betting app will offer residents in the state the opportunity to be among the first to ever place a legal online bet in Illinois, launching just in time for the return of US sports, with both the NBA and the NHL scheduled to return to action next week.
“We are excited to make history in bringing the first online sportsbook to sports fans in our home state just in time as American sports are coming back into action.”Richard Schwartz, President, Rush Street Interactive
On an international scale, German Bundesliga has already resumed play, as well as motorsports and professional golf featuring in televised events. The sports book operator will also offer hundreds of live streamed sports events on its website to provide players with the chance to wager while watching the games.
“While entertainment options are limited as we seek to minimize the spread of the virus, we are focused on BetRivers.com providing sportsbook players with a high-quality on-line product with exciting sports betting options.”Richard Schwartz, President, Rush Street Interactive
Competition-Weak Illinois Markets Looks Promising
There is one more reason for the president of Rush Street Interactive to be excited about, and it is the lack of competition. Furthermore, there are legal barriers that would prevent the big boys, DraftKings and FanDuel, from entering the market for the first 18 months, as state legislators put a special bad actor clause in the law, forcing the two daily fantasy and sports book providers to seek alternative ways to enter.
The regulatory body in the state, the Illinois Gaming Board, issued licenses to six other land-based casinos last week. Each one of them has the option to request further approval to offer digital sports betting, but as officially confirmed by the regulator, none of them has done so.