PointsBet is finally live in Illinois with just one day to spare before the first full slate of NFL games.
The mobile app went live at 10 a.m. local time Saturday morning. It’s the fourth state for PointsBet, which is also live in New Jersey, Indiana and Iowa.
“The passionate sports fans in the state can now experience our leading online sports betting product and see for themselves why we’ve long stated that the best product experience will win,” said Johnny Aitken, US CEO of PointsBet. “PointsBet possesses competitive advantages by owning our technology environment from end to end, such as unrivaled speed and ease of use on a personalized platform.
“We, together with our partner Hawthorne Race Course, are thrilled to provide the Illinois consumer with exactly what they’ve been craving.”
Retail an important strategy for PointsBet
PointsBet used the fact that Illinois built in-person registration into the beginning of its sports betting market to its advantage.
The Australian-listed betting operator will have four retail locations surrounding Chicago. That includes a sportsbook at Hawthorne as well as three of its off-track betting facilities.
PointsBet strategically picked the locations to create somewhat of a defensive boundary around Chicago, Aitken told LSR.
“What we wanted to design was a catchment,” Aitken said. “So if you headed north of Chicago, northwest, southwest or south, chances are you are going to drive past one of our four sportsbooks.”
Still time for online signups
Perhaps the most important part of PointsBet launching now is the fact it can take mobile signups for at least another few days.
Remote signups are currently allowed under an executive order from Gov. JB Pritzker until Sept. 19. His office has not responded to questions asking about an extension.
That means this could be the last week signing up on a mobile device is available until next September or longer. In-person registration is required for at least the first 18 months of sports betting.
If all goes according to PointsBet’s plans, a Colorado launch should be soon.
Aitken told LSR in July the plan was still to launch Colorado quickly after going live in Illinois. Michigan is next on the list after that.
PointsBet should be fresh on the minds of Coloradans, too, after agreeing to be the official gaming partner of the University of Colorado. It’s the first sponsorship of its kind in the US.
More are coming, too. Fellow Australian operator PlayUp will make its US debut in Colorado during the NFL season, US CEO Laila Mintas told LSR in August.
Busy time for PointsBet
PointsBet has taken some big steps as a company in a short amount of time.
Along with local marketing deals in Colorado and Michigan, PointsBet signed a massive five-year marketing agreement with NBCUniversal last month.
That agreement includes $393 million in guaranteed marketing spending across NBC properties. Fundraising for that is currently underway with PointsBet placing new shares through institutional and retail offers.