he Illinois Gaming Board awarded temporary operating permits to FanDuel and DraftKings as Management Services Providers for the sports betting market.
According to the regulatory board’s website, the approvals of BetFair Interactive US LLC, doing business as FanDuel; and Crown IL Gaming LLC granted Friday raise the number of entities given temporary operating permits as Management Services Providers to five, as reported by Sports Handle.
Rush Street Interactive, which runs Rivers Casino’s BetRivers Sportsbook, was awarded its permit in February, while Penn National Gaming, which operates the sportsbook at The Argosy, was granted its permit in March. Rivers and The Argosy are the only two retail sportsbooks approved for wagering in Illinois, while BetRivers, operating through Rivers Casino, is the only internet/mobile sportsbook currently in operation in Illinois. The next meeting of the Illinois Gaming Board is scheduled for July 30.
DraftKings also has been running television spots in the Chicago market over the past week. In general, the online sports betting market in Illinois took a sharp turn for the “open” in June when, by Executive Order, Governor J.B. Pritzker suspended the requirement for patrons to sign up in person to open a betting account. The governor cited casino closures and limitations posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
DraftKings has a market share agreement in place with Casino Queen, which is one of seven casinos to have been granted a Master Sports Wagering license. However, it has yet to be provisionally approved for wagering per the IGB website. DraftKings announced Wednesday that Casino Queen will be rebranded as “DraftKings at Casino Queen”, including its physical location in East St. Louis.
The capital bill that legalized sports betting in Illinois in June 2019 imposed a “penalty box” provision, requiring applicants for an online-only license to wait 540 days from the issuing of the first retail sports betting license — a clock started with the seven licenses granted last month.
PointsBet, which received its temporary operating permit last Tuesday, had reached a previous agreement to enter Illinois through Hawthorne Race Course. Fairmount Park and Hawthorne, which applied for racino licenses as allowed in the capital bill, have yet to be approved for Organization Licenses for sports wagering.
Arlington Park — the third horse racing track in Illinois — is seeking only a sports betting license as owner Churchill Downs Incorporated has a majority stake in Rivers Casino.
Monday’s approvals by the IGB leave American Wagering, which applied in February doing business as William Hill, as the lone remaining applicant awaiting approval.