Jumer’s Casino & Hotel Applies For Retail Sports Betting License

Written By Joe Boozell on January 21, 2021 - Last Updated on March 3, 2021

Jumer’s Casino & Hotel has applied for a sports wagering owners license.

If approved, it will become the eighth Illinois casino to offer retail sports betting. Harrah’s Joliet and Harrah’s Metropolis are the only two casinos that haven’t applied for a sports betting license.

Bally’s Corporation, which now owns Jumer’s, has yet to apply for a mobile license. It almost certainly will at some point, though.

Delaware North sold Jumer’s to Twin River Holdings in October for $120 million. Since then, Twin River changed its name to Bally’s Corporation.

The company is delivering on its original objective, which was to get into the Illinois sports betting market.

Bally’s eyed sports betting from the start

At the time of the Jumer’s sale, Twin River President and CEO George Papanier said the following:

“This acquisition further expands our geographic reach into yet another attractive market. It provides access to a growing gaming market in Illinois, with the potential to capitalize on potentially lucrative sports betting opportunities. We look forward to the opportunity to leverage our operational expertise and proven integration approach to drive incremental revenues and cash flow improvements.”

In November, Bally’s also acquired sports betting platform supplier Bet.Works for $125 million. 

It’s safe to say that Bally’s is serious about getting into the sports betting market.

Bally’s will also take over 21 regional Fox Sports Network channels, though that won’t be as impactful in Illinois, as local games mostly air on NBC Sports Chicago.

NBC Sports Chicago has a lucrative partnership with PointsBet.

Bally’s Chairman Soo Kim believes this is “the next step in our company’s evolution.”

“By combining our expanding national footprint of casinos, the recently acquired Bally’s brand, and Bet.Works’ proprietary technology stack, we have evolved in just a few short years from a regional casino operator into the first US gaming company committed to serving our customers with an omni-channel approach, combining the best of our physical properties with a superior online experience.”

As of now, there are five mobile sportsbooks in Illinois. They are:

BetMGM sportsbook, Unibet and Barstool are all aiming to join the Illinois party in the next few months.

After that trio, Bally’s looks like it’s next in line. But we still have a ways to go before the possibility of a Bally’s mobile launch.

As for a retail sportsbook, though, Jumer’s could be approved sometime in 2021.

How have Illinois retail sportsbooks performed?

Online betting is the real revenue driver for sportsbooks, but there has also been solid consumer interest in the retail sports betting product.

Retail sportsbooks have taken in $67 million of bets since launch, and that’s not including November numbers.

Rivers Casino, outside of Chicago, has the most popular retail sportsbook to date. It’s recorded $42.8 million in handle.

Second on the list is Argosy Casino Alton, which is just outside of St. Louis. Argosy, which is retail-only until Unibet launches online, has taken in $8.7 million in bets.

That’s a more apt comparison for Jumer’s in the short-term, as it will likely open a retail sportsbook before going online.

Jumer’s joins Fairmount Park on the Sports Wagering Owners License applicants list. If Fairmount is approved, it will become FanDuel Sportsbook and Horse Racing.

Jumer’s is located in Rock Island, IL, one of the Quad Cities on the Iowa border. The Quad Cities have a collective population of about  380,000 people.

The casino reopened on Saturday, as Gov. JB Pritzker continues to loosen Illinois’ COVID-19 restrictions.

Photo by Wayne Parry / AP
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Joe Boozell

Joe Boozell has also been a college sports writer for NCAA.com since 2015. His work has also appeared in Bleacher Report, FoxSports.com and NBA.com. Growing up, Boozell squared off against both Anthony Davis and Frank Kaminsky in the Chicagoland basketball scene ... you can imagine how that went.

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