Legal Sports Betting Integral To New Danville Casino Plans

Posted on December 4, 2019 - Last Updated on January 6, 2020

Residents and visitors to Danville, you’ll eventually be able to legally place wagers on your favorite sporting events. Although it’s uncertain how soon that will be a reality, the developer of a new Danville casino intends to make it so.

Among other amenities, the new gaming facility will house a legal sportsbook. That’s just one aspect of what Haven Gaming LLC hopes will produce a “wow factor” at the new casino.

Details on Haven’s plans for the Danville casino

Although Haven hasn’t publicized a timeline for the casino’s opening, it listed several other facts about its plans in a Danville City Council meeting. The sportsbook is just one of many attractions.

Haven also plans to include a concert venue, convention space, hotel, lazy river, pool and several restaurants. The parking space will accommodate as many as 4,000 vehicles.

Haven estimates the construction process will employ 400 individuals. As far as permanent jobs go, the company projects 1,000.

Those estimates are often inflated, however. A more certain benefit for the city is a 4% tax that the casino will pay on its revenue.

The main site of the casino will be just off I-74 on Lynch Road. The campus will encompass 42 acres that Haven will buy.

New Illinois casino set to roll out in phases

Haven also intends to purchase another 30 acres across Lynch Road for further development. The buildout of the casino is set to happen incrementally.

A small “starter casino” could be open within a year of breaking ground. It would house 10-20 live tables and operate through the other phases of construction.

Haven plans to operate fewer than the maximum number of gaming positions allowed by the state in the full facility at first. From there, it has the option to expand from the original 1,250 to the max of 2,000 in the future.

Although no details were given on aesthetics or an operator for a sportsbook on the property, Haven plans to include that. The plans they provided did drop a few hints regarding what to expect.

What Haven’s sportsbook details point toward for new casino

Chicago attorney Scott Sypolt, presenting on Haven’s behalf, made it clear that Haven sees sports betting as a point of attraction for younger patrons. That suggests a “sports bar” aesthetic for the sportsbook to come.

The betting windows will likely be adjacent to a lounge area, complete with multiple monitors displaying live sports broadcasts. Other screens could act as odds tickers.

In other places where the model is popular, amenities at the sportsbooks include a full bar and dining options. The idea is to make the space feel like a sports bar where guests can also place bets if they desire.

The retail sportsbook will likely be part of the later stages of the buildout, as the “starter casino” will be limited to live table games. That doesn’t necessarily mean that Danville will be late to the sports betting party, however.

Depending on how the Illinois Gaming Board interprets the state’s law, online sports betting might be available in Illinois before the Danville casino launches in full. If Haven partners with a sportsbook operator that has an online platform, it could get into the sports betting business even before its retail book opens.

All that will be decided over the coming months. Danville residents and visitors will eventually be able to place bets; that much is certain.

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Derek Helling

Derek Helling is a freelance journalist who resides in Kansas City, Mo. He is a 2013 graduate of the University of Iowa and covers the intersections of sports with business and the law.

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