Exciting news for sports betting enthusiasts in Illinois! Betway, the renowned sportsbook operator, is sprinting ahead in the race to secure one of the three highly coveted online-only operating licenses in the state. In an announcement that set hearts racing, regulators revealed that Betway stands alone as the sole applicant in the running!
Betway enters Illinois
Despite a competitive market boasting seven online sportsbooks, including giants like DraftKings and FanDuel, Betway has its eyes set on a unique opportunity. The online-only license would allow Betway to establish its presence in Illinois without the need to partner with brick-and-mortar racetracks or casinos.
The Illinois Gaming Board is all set to conduct a comprehensive review of Betway’s license application, given that the parent company emerged as the only participant in the rigorous bidding process for the three available licenses.
This isn’t the first time Illinois regulators have sought to distribute these sought-after licenses, each valued at a whopping $20 million for operators. A previous attempt in August 2021 drew three initial bids, but alas, two contenders withdrew, and a third was disqualified, leading to a temporary stall.
However, Betway is now giving it another shot, proving that the pursuit of greatness involves resilience and seizing the right moment. In the past, the company reportedly withdrew from consideration without providing an explanation. But this time around, they’ve made a bold return to the race, eager to claim their spot in the flourishing Illinois market.
It remains a mystery what prompted Betway to re-enter the competition, as there hasn’t been any immediate comment from Betway parent Super Group regarding their decision.
A long way traveled already, and a long way to go
The race for the online-only licenses restarted in November last year after the sole remaining bidder at the time withdrew. Despite facing some twists and turns, this time, the determination paid off, with Betway emerging as the last candidate standing!
If the license application gets the green light, Illinois would mark the ninth state where Betway operates, solidifying its reputation as a major player in the US sports betting arena. The company already operates in Arizona, Colorado, Indiana, Iowa, Ohio, and Virginia, while also offering both online casino and sportsbook services in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
Illinois boasts one of the largest sports betting markets in the country, with a staggering $822 million in bets placed in May this year, 97% of which occurred online. Betway’s entry into this vibrant landscape promises to add more excitement and opportunities for sports enthusiasts and bettors alike.
Illinois’ gambling market development
In another thrilling development, the Illinois Gaming Board also approved an initial master sports wagering license for 815 Entertainment, LLC, better known as the Hard Rock Casino Rockford. This milestone clears the path for an exhilarating new sportsbook at the property.
With Seminole Hard Rock Digital LLC receiving the initial management services provider license, the Hard Rock Casino Rockford is all set to offer a unique and immersive sports betting experience to its eager patrons.
As Illinois continues to embrace the thrill of sports betting, these exciting developments bring a wave of anticipation and joy to both operators and bettors. Betway and Hard Rock Casino Rockford are poised to create unforgettable moments in this fast-paced world of sports gaming. Hold your breath as Illinois gears up for an adrenaline-fueled betting extravaganza!
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