Online Sports Betting Launches in Illinois With BetRivers Sportsbook

Posted on June 18, 2020

The day few thought would ever arrive, is finally here — Illinois online sports betting.

BetRivers has become the first mobile sportsbook in the state, going live Thursday, June 18 at 10 a.m. This marks another first for Rivers Casino Des Plains as the property was also the first to begin taking sports bets at its retail sportsbook in March.

Online sports betting going live in the state is a welcome respite after the last few months. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic was just ramping up in the US at the exact time of Illinois’ big legal retail sports betting debut, and bets were only in action a short time before all casinos had to close.

“We are excited to make history in bringing the first online sportsbook to sports fans in our home state just in time as American sports are coming back into action,” said Richard Schwartz, president of Rush Street Interactive (RSI).

RSI is the official partner of Rivers Casino and operates a number of online sportsbooks across the US.

The launch of online sports betting follows an executive order by Gov. J.B. Pritzker that no longer requires customers to registered for sports betting accounts in-person.

Another first for Rush Street Interactive

As noted, RSI also launched the first online sportsbook in Pennsylvania, Colorado, and neighboring Indiana. Although betting options are limited right now, there have been a number of discussions by the four major sports leagues (NBA, MLB, NHL, NFL) for a hopeful 2020 return.

“While entertainment options are limited as we seek to minimize the spread of the virus, we are focused on BetRivers.com providing sportsbook players with a high-quality on-line product with exciting sports betting options,” Schwartz said. “We will have great customer service with fast payouts and an overall friendly approach that treats every player with honesty and care.”

The full list of betting options is still unknown. But customers can expect to place bets on UFC, the PGA Tour, and NASCAR, all of which have returned in recent months.

The next possible launches for Illinois online sports betting

As the top sportsbooks in the US, DraftKings Sportsbook and FanDuel Sportsbook should be considered dark horses to launch next. Neither has a casino partner in the state but the powerful clout they wield could change things.

While there is no clear next in line, the IL Gaming Board recently approved seven master sports betting licenses to casinos across the state.

  • Argosy Casino Alton
  • Grand Victoria Casino
  • Hollywood Casino Aurora
  • Hollywood Casino Joliet
  • Casino Queen
  • Par-A-Dice Hotel Casino
  • Rivers Casino Des Plaines: launched 6/18

The Grand Victoria Casino is one to watch. The property is owned by MGM and getting its BetMGM online sportsbook up and running (which it has done quickly in other states) could be its top priority.

Nicholaus Garcia Avatar
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Nicholaus Garcia

Nick has had stints in Chicago, writing about local politics, and in Washington, D.C., covering the expanding gambling industry. Now back in Chicago, he continues to write about the emerging sports betting market with a focus on the Midwest. Originally from West Texas, he graduated from Texas Tech University and completed his master's degree in journalism at Columbia College Chicago.

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