DraftKings Inks Deal With Illinois To Enter Sports Betting Market

illinois sport betting market
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Online sports betting giant DraftKings recently confirms that the company has reached a deal with the state of Illinois to enter its sports betting market. The deal came in just two weeks after the state launched its online sports betting industry.

DraftKings said that it is partnering with local operator Casino Queen. The multi-year deal will allow DraftKings to run its retail sportsbook and mobile gaming app in the state. By partnering up with a local casino operator, DraftKings was able to fast track its entry into the Illinois sports betting market.

A new frontier for DraftKings

Actual physical sportsbook shops are the only ones allowed to operate in the state following the launch of sports betting in the state in March. This essentially leaves many online casino operators nearly two years behind their local counterparts. With its latest deal, it appears that DraftKings now have the opportunity to operate on both industries.

The coronavirus pandemic has brought a lot of changes in the local Illinois sports betting industry. One of the early changes was made in June when state Governor J.B. Pritzker suspended the mandatory in-person registration because of the pandemic. This shift in regulation allowed many residents to be able to directly register into the database using a computer or a mobile device.

Following this decision, many online sports betting firms have flocked into the state. One of the first to launch their service is BetRivers, which was able to launch just two weeks after the regulation was lifted. This is one of the fastest integrations of online sports betting platform in any state.

Although the deal has already been signed, DraftKings has yet to confirm when it plans to launch its service. The firm said that it is still working with the technical side of its platform and are rapidly moving forward into an early launch.

A great time to enter the industry

Although DraftKings is relatively late to arrive in the scene, the firm manage to do it at the right time. Recent statistics reveal that demand for online betting platforms are skyrocketing in the state.

Moreover, the state’s decision to suspend in-person registration played a huge role on the shift towards the mobile platform. Now, people can easily register without the need for in-person appearance.

It is still unknown whether the state will lift the suspension once the coronavirus pandemic is over. Nevertheless, the suspension has already helped bring mobile sports apps into the mainstream.

If DraftKings is able to launch its platform within the coming weeks, the firm can capitalize on the return of two major sports leagues: the NBA and the MLB. Illinois is also a huge sporting state. It is home to five professional sports teams playing in four different major sports.

Aside from DraftKings, another major sports betting platform is also seeing the potential of the Illinois betting industry. FanDuel has already applied for a license in February. The firm is reportedly negotiating with local racetrack operator Fairmount Park in order to obtain a license.

A total of seven casinos have received licenses to operate in the state. However, only two of them have been granted probationary status.

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