Legal sports betting in Illinois is now live.
Chicago Blackhawks announcer, and former player, Eddie Olczyk made the first-ever legal sports bet in the state Monday at BetRivers Casino as he put $100 on the hometown White Sox to win the American League pennant.
“It’s with a lot of thought, but I am going to bet the Chicago White Sox to win the American League pennant. $100,” Olczyk said in the Monday ceremony in Des Plaines.
The futures odds for the White Sox to win the AL at BetRivers were 16-1 as of Monday morning.
BetRivers first to market
Rivers now features 30 sports betting kiosks throughout the casino, and it has five betting windows at the sportsbook.
The brand new book also boasts a 47-foot-wide LED video wall along with 14 HD televisions. Live betting odds are also displayed throughout the sportsbook.
A full-service bar that seats 32 people is also up-and-running.
“We are super-excited. It’s been a longtime coming,” Rivers Des Plaines general manager Corey Wise told FOX 32 Chicago on Monday. “We are so excited to take the first legal sports bet in Illinois. We have a great space for our guests and we’re really excited to get this thing going.
“We opened it as a sports bar in late December. It’s 5,000 square feet. We have a 45-inch video wall and TVs all around the space. We’ve got luxury plush chairs for you to watch, just like a Vegas sportsbook. So we’re super excited to show it off.
“We have all the major sports,” Wise continued. “NHL, NBA, Major League Baseball. But we also have additional sports like tennis, and we even have darts to bet on. You can bet on everything from a moneyline – where you just bet on a winner – versus the spread. You can do parlays where you combine bets from different events for a greater payout. So we are going to have a wide catalogue of things to offer for all the sports bettors out there.”
Next up in Illinois
Argosy in Alton and the Grand Victoria in Elgin are both expected to be launching their own retail sportsbooks soon, possibly as soon as next week.
Argosy Kansas City’s Twitter account spilled the beans on Monday, tweeting out the following:
“How exciting!!! Our sister property @argosyalton will open their sportsbook on 3/16! Get ready to place your bets!”
As for the online aspect of sports betting in the Prairie State, it likely won’t be until the start of the 2020 NFL season (at the earliest).
“Later this year we will be launching our online mobile app,” Wise said. “We have a pre-registration process so you can come in and sign up for a Rush Rewards card at our card center. So when we launch our site you will be pre-registered for the online offering.”
Sports bettors in the state could also soon see sports betting lounges or kiosks at Wrigley Field, Guaranteed Rate Field and the United Center.