PointsBet Sportsbook officially launched its online mobile app on September 12, 2020, through a partnership with Hawthorne Race Course. Now that partnership is taking the next step as retail sports betting will also be offered at that location.
The Illinois Gaming Board recently approved PointsBet, and it will become the first off-track sportsbook that is not located at one of the state’s casinos. The Hawthorne Race Course sportsbook opened in September, but the off-track betting facility will give bettors in the Chicago area another option.
Club Hawthorne has gone through several key renovations over the past few months to get things in place for a new retail sportsbook. The goal of this location is to offer retail betting and provide a sports betting experience, similar to what takes place in Las Vegas, Nev.
This location has a maximum capacity of 500 patrons when it is fully operational, but COVID-19 restrictions will limit the number of patrons.
PointsBet Emerging as Threat in Illinois
PointsBet is an Australian-based sports betting operator, but it has become synonymous with U.S. sports betting. It has become a popular sports betting option in several states throughout the country, and Illinois should follow suit.
The city of Chicago does not have any retail sports betting options, and PointsBet will be the closest location for the time being. For Windy City residents, traveling to Hawthorne Park will be worth it to bet at a popular and growing sportsbook.
PointsBet has also announced that it is teaming up with the PGA Tour and NBC Sports to create a new golf betting show. This program will be the first of its kind and will be aired from February 4-7 during the Waste Management Phoenix Open.
Remote Registration Still Available
Illinois sports betting law requires in-person registration, but that has not been the case for most of the time since the industry launched. Governor J.B. Pritzker initially issued an Executive Order in June that waived the in-person registration requirement.
This Executive Order has been extended several times since June, and Pritzer did that once again on January 8. The current Executive Order is set to expire on February 6, but state lawmakers are also looking to make remote registration a permanent part of the industry in the future.
November Totals Not Yet Announced
The Ilinois Gaming Board is the last to announce sports betting figures as the November totals have not yet been released. Those are expected to come before the end of January, but Illinois continues to make these announcements well after other states.
In October, the total sports betting handle climbed up to $434 million, setting a new record for the state. Online sports betting accounted for more than 94 percent of all the wagers placed during that month.
Illinois is now one of the top-five biggest sports betting markets in the U.S., despite launching in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. With the Super Bowl just around the corner, January and February have a chance to set the record even higher.