Thirty years after Illinois passed legislation legalizing ten casinos to operate throughout the State, Hawthorne Race Course has been preliminarily approved to become its next casino. Today, the Illinois Gaming Board voted unanimously that Hawthorne’s ownership and key personnel are “suitable” for eventual casino licensure.
PointsBet Online and Mobile Sports Betting Goes Live in Illinois; Hawthorne Retail Locations to Follow Soon
PointsBet debuting best-in-class technology, promotions, bet types and more in Illinois, including best price in market for every Chicago Bears pregame spreadline and moneyline bet for the 2020/21 NFL Season
PointsBet, a premier global sportsbook operator, announced today that it is now providing its mobile app and digital sports betting product in Illinois. Illinois marks the fourth operational state for PointsBet’s premium sports betting product, following successful launches in New Jersey, Iowa, and Indiana.
In addition to launching the PointsBet mobile app and digital product, PointsBet’s convenient retail presence in Chicago will soon debut at four sites that flank every corner of Chicagoland. Hawthorne Race Course (Stickney, IL) represents the flagship retail location, and additional off-track betting (OTB) premium sportsbooks will debut in Prospect Heights, Oakbrook Terrace, and Crestwood.
"The PointsBet team is excited to share that we are now officially live in Illinois, our fourth state of operation in the US," said Johnny Aitken, PointsBet USA CEO. "The passionate sports fans in the state can now experience our leading online sports betting product and see for themselves why we’ve long stated that the best product experience will win. PointsBet possesses competitive advantages by owning our technology environment from end to end, such as unrivaled speed and ease of use on a personalized platform. We, together with our partner Hawthorne Race Course, are thrilled to provide the Illinois consumer with exactly what they've been craving."
Hawthorne received approval from the Illinois Gaming Board in July to move forward with a $400 million redevelopment of “Chicago’s Hometown Track” to create a multi-dimensional gaming entertainment destination inclusive of a casino and sportsbook. The first-of-its-kind business in Illinois will feature slots, table games, enhanced parimutuel wagering, dining concepts created in partnership with well-known Chicago culinary leaders, and a connected multi-story parking garage. Hawthorne Casino & Race Course is expected to open in late 2021 pending final licensing approvals.
"There are a lot of good reasons why we chose to partner with PointsBet, but most importantly it's their commitment to innovation and customer excitement," said Tim Carey, President and CEO of Hawthorne. "They truly know the passion and needs of the player and that has always been our focus in horseracing, just as it will be in the casino that we're developing. Illinois gamblers are going to quickly realize PointsBet provides the best sports betting experience by far."
As a nod to Illinois sports fans, PointsBet USA CEO Johnny Aitken confirmed that PointsBet will offer the best price in market for all Chicago Bears games this season across both the pregame spreadline and moneyline bet types. Additionally, PointsBet will unveil their innovative “Crowd Booster” promotion for sports bettors in the state of Illinois for the Chicago Bears’ first three games of the 2020 NFL season. The Bears spread will be boosted five points for every 200 bets placed, resulting in an extremely favorable spread for clients. Best of all, all clients will be able to take advantage of the final spread number, regardless of where they got their bet down!
In conjunction with the official launch of PointsBet’s Illinois sports betting product, the operator also recently announced its partnership with future NFL Hall-of-Famer, Devin Hester. A symbiotic element to the partnership, a primary point of differentiation for the PointsBet mobile product is unmatched speed and ease of use. The fastest way to get down a bet in Chicago, PointsBet owns their technology end-to-end and places an emphasis on an in-house development approach, allowing PointsBet to offer clients a faster and more streamlined digital experience, exclusive product features, bet types that cannot be found anywhere else, deep Spanish language functionality, the ability to incorporate regulatory approved changes seamlessly, and so much more. In a recent interview on the partnership, Hester commented: “With the technology that these guys have, it just makes things so easy and fast. And that’s why I partnered up with PointsBet, just thinking about myself being fast, and then coming in and joining with these guys, it just makes life so easy when you want to get in bets.”
As the official, exclusive sports betting partner of NBC Sports, PointsBet will utilize the media giant’s premium television and digital assets to promote the PointsBet brand across Illinois. As part of the agreement, NBC Sports provides PointsBet with year-round, multi-platform media and marketing opportunities across its unmatched portfolio of events, including exclusive multiplatform gameday integrations across NBC Sports Chicago, regional broadcast home to the Chicago Blackhawks, Bulls, and White Sox. PointsBet’s full Spanish-language functionality will reach Hispanic sports fans via Telemundo Deportes and Telemundo broadcast stations.
Illinois horsemen depend on Hawthorne Race Course, the only track in the state to provide year-round racing. A casino at Hawthorne supports agribusiness jobs across all of Illinois.
In anticipation of its licensure as part of Illinois’ recent casino and gaming expansion, Hawthorne Race Course has hired Kevin Kline (LinkedIn profile) as its new CEO of Gaming. The 110-year old family-owned and operated business applied to the Illinois Gaming Board for a casino gaming license on August 26th before a 60-day deadline established by the new gaming law which was signed by Illinois Governor JB Pritzker at the end of June.