PointsBet Launch Sports Betting Platform in Illinois
PointsBet Sportsbook is now officially live in Illinois
PointsBet has become the fourth operator to go live with online sports betting in Illinois, launching through its partnership with Hawthorne Racecourse. The Australian based operator has launched an online sportsbook and mobile app in the Prairie State. The news was announced following the first NFL fixture of the 2020 season on Thursday and came just before the first full round of fixtures this past weekend. The company joins a list including BetRivers, DraftKings, and FanDuel, to have launched an online sports betting platform in Illinois.
Players can currently register for a sportsbook account remotely in Illinois after Gov. J.B. Pritzker temporarily removed the in-person registration requirement in August. This allowed mobile sportsbooks the opportunity to sign up new players from anywhere in the state.
PointsBet has a clear strategy to focus on Chicago. The company recently announced it had brought former Chicago Bears star Devin Hester on board to act as an ambassador for its Chicago based sports betting products.
Johnny Aitken, PointsBet USA CEO, emphasized the fact that they see Chicago as an excellent opportunity to build the brand. He described Hester’s partnership as a “tremendous sports betting opportunity” and stated the fans in Chicago are “extremely passionate.” The PointsBet launch in Illinois has been on the cards for a while and comes shortly after the company signed the first partnership agreement with an NCAA school, the University of Colorado.
PointsBet Sportsbook has been extremely active in the US market recently. Two weeks ago, it was revealed they have a five-year agreement to become the official sports betting partner of NBC Sports. As part of this deal, PointsBet will be able to exploit marketing opportunities on numerous NBC platforms, while NBC gets an equity share in PointsBet. Illinois joins New Jersey, Indiana, Iowa as states where PointsBet has an active online sportsbook.
PointsBet Targets Chicago
It is expected that the in-person registration requirement will return to Illinois. If that proves to be the case, PointsBet has been wise to position itself in the Chicago area. The city is the third-largest city in the country by population with approximately 2.7 million residents. The operator will have retail sportsbooks at Hawthorne Racecourse, OTBs In Prospect Heights, Oakbrook Terrace, and Crestwood. All are within easy reach of Chicago.
Hawthorne was the first horse racing track to be granted a sports betting license in July. Tim Carey, the president/CEO of Hawthorne, stated they are “fortunate” that their location is so close the Windy City.
Mobile registration is allowed in Illinois until 19th September. This gives the four sportsbooks now live in the state, DraftKings, FanDuel, Betrivers, and now PointsBet, a small window of opportunity to sign up players remotely. PointsBet may feel once this window closes, they have the advantage, as the DraftKings and FanDuel retail sportsbooks aren’t located close to Chicago.
PointsBet Continue to Expand
This latest news continues a recent trend for PointsBet of expansion and new agreements in the United States. The company has been named as an official sports betting operator of the PGA Tour. It is also an exclusive partner of the Denver Nuggets, Colorado Avalanche, and the Colorado Mammoth.
Moreover, they have announced a sports betting deal with the Indiana Pacers and became the first company to reach an agreement with an MLB team, signing a contract with the Detroit Tigers.
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