DraftKings Secures Illinois Market Access, But When Will App Launch?

Posted on June 30, 2020 - Last Updated on February 23, 2021
Written By on June 30, 2020
Last Updated on February 23, 2021

DraftKings has secured market access for Illinois thanks to new partnership with the Casino Queen property in East St. Louis.

The partnership was noted in an SEC filing earlier this month, and could herald an imminent launch for DraftKings in the state. A Sportico report earlier Tuesday first highlighted the information.

DraftKings declined to provide an exact timeline to LSR. However, it confirmed in a statement it was “looking forward to working with the Illinois Gaming Board and Casino Queen to bring our legal sports betting product to Illinois”.

LSR understands DK is going through the regulatory testing process over next couple of weeks and hopes to launch online shortly after.

Easy access for Illinois sports betting

Illinois sports betting customers will be able to sign up from home thanks to the recent executive order from Illinois Gov. J.B Pritzker

Branding rules issued alongside that order seem to indicate the Casino Queen brand will have to feature on DraftKings’ app and site.

The market access deal is between 5-10 years long, according to the SEC filing. It also covers a retail sportsbook. DraftKings will pay an undisclosed cut of net revenue to Casino Queen.

More competition on the way

Casino Queen is one of seven casinos currently approved for four-year master licenses to run sports betting in Illinois.

The others are:

  • Argosy Casino Alton
  • Grand Victoria Casino
  • Hollywood Casino Aurora
  • Hollywood Casino Joliet
  • Rivers Casino-Des Plaines
  • Par-A-Dice Hotel Casino

BetRivers is currently the only online betting platform live in Illinois after it launched in June. That product, like DraftKings, uses Kambi odds.

Meanwhile, MGM owns the Grand Victoria and has been quick to market with BetMGM in other states, so could feasibly be next in line for launch. FanDuel has not yet announced an Illinois access deal, but surely can’t be far behind.

Sports bettors might be well served to sign up for some Illinois sports betting apps now, before the remote sign-up rules are reversed.

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Brad Allen

Brad has been covering the online gambling industry in Europe and the US for more than four years, most recently as the news editor at EGR Global.

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