The Chicago area finally has a retail sportsbook as PointBet and Hawthorne Park have partnered to offer retail sports betting. Hawthorne Park opened on Wednesday to sports bettors in the state of Illinois, and this is just one of four locations set to open.
The current retail sportsbook at Hawthorne Park is temporary, but a brand new PointsBet Sportsbook is set to open at some point in 2021. Hawthorne is currently undergoing a $400 million casino renovation, and it will become the top casino option in the Chicagoland area.
Crestwood, Oakbrook Terrace, and Prospect Heights are the other three locations where PointsBet and Hawthorne Park will offer betting. These other three locations are off-track betting sites, but they have been granted a sports betting license by the Illinois Gaming Board.
Hawthorne Park is located in the town of Stickney, which is just 10 miles from downtown Chicago. Bettors in the Windy City have been looking for a location to bet on sports, and Points Bet has finally offered one.
The official PointsBet Sportsbook at Hawthorne Park will provide much more than just sports betting services to its customers. On-site entertainment is planned for the new sportsbook, and there will be a VIP lounge for bettors that want to make larger bets.
The sportsbook will also offer a bet-and-go lobby equipped with betting kiosks for customers who do not need any help placing bets. There will be more than 60 TVs inside the sportsbook, and more than 20 self-serve kiosks will be available throughout the actual sportsbook.
Hawthorne Park has started to feature live horse races once again, and the current clubhouse will serve as the sportsbook until the large project is completed. The entire casino is getting a facelift at Hawthorne Park, becoming a top tourist destination in the state.
PointsBet Already Offering Mobile Betting
PointsBet started offering mobile sports betting in the state of Illinois on September 12, becoming the fourth operator to go live in the state. PointsBet joined BetRivers, FanDuel, and DraftKings in the Illinois market, and William Hill has since joined the party.
PointsBet has seen tremendous success since joining the United States market, and it has already made some big moves in Illinois. Near the end of September, PointsBet announced that it has reached a deal with the Chicago Bears to become the official sports betting partner.
The Australian-based operator will be able to use official bears logos and trademarks on all of its sports betting platforms. This should help the company appeal to the sports betting community in Illinois.
One of the biggest reasons that PointsBet launched mobile betting so quickly in Illinois is that Governor JB Pritzker has once again extended the mobile registration period for sports bettors. Illinois initially had an in-person registration requirement, but the ongoing pandemic has caused the governor to make some adjustments.
The launch of retail sports betting at Hawthorne Park will also keep Chicago residents from traveling across the border to Indiana to place their sports bets.