PointsBet Becomes Newest Sportsbook to Join Illinois Sports Betting Market


Patrick Gorski/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images.

BetRivers, DraftKings, and FanDuel all launched online sportsbooks in Illinois within the past three months.

Now, PointsBet is joining the party. It officially launched on Saturday.

PointsBet joined the trio of sportsbooks in Illinois after agreeing to a brick-and-mortar sportsbook deal with Hawthorne Race Course last summer.

It was only a matter of time before PointsBet launched in Illinois.

When BetRivers became the first online sportsbook to launch in June, it gained an advantage in customer acquisition.

That’s because Governor J.B. Pritzker signed an executive order allowing bettors in Illinois to register remotely instead of traveling to a land-based sportsbook in person, as originally planned.

The order was eventually revoked, but Pritzker signed it once again in late August, which allowed DraftKings to take a chunk of the BetRivers customer base, as remote registration saved a near nine-hour round-trip drive from Chicago to East St. Louis.

FanDuel went live a week later.

Even though it couldn’t beat DraftKings or FanDuel to the punch, PointsBet enters the Illinois sports betting market at a great time.

Pritzker’s order will help the company gain a customer base around the state, a luxury it likely wouldn’t have without it.

The entrance barrier to the Prairie State market, however, was originally regarded as high: The state’s sports betting law forces online-only operators to wait 18 months to join, giving an advantage to land-based operations.

BetRivers, DraftKings, and FanDuel all found a way around the “penalty box” by signing an agreement with a brick-and-mortar sportsbook. That, then, allows companies to go live with an online app right away.

PointBet’s launch date will allow it to be in business for the start of NFL and college football, as well as the rest of the NBA, MLB, WNBA, and golf years.

Illinois is now the second-most populated state with full online betting, housing 12.7 million people, trailing only Pennsylvania.

It also helps that the Land of Lincoln has five professional teams across the country’s four major sports leagues.

PointsBet’s entrance into the Illinois market proves how hot the state’s sports betting market is. It will only continue to grow as time ticks away.

And things will get started quickly with a Saturday college football slate that has big games with Notre Dame and Clemson. Per PointsBet, 85% of the money is on Notre Dame vs. Duke. The defending champion Tigers are getting 92% of the money to cover vs. Wake Forest.

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