As was the case in Indiana, DraftKings Sportsbook is the second sports betting app to the market in the state of Illinois. DraftKings and BetRivers Sportsbook both launched their apps on October 3, 2019 in the Hoosier State, but DraftKings is about a month and a half behind BetRivers in the Land of Lincoln.
DraftKings Sportsbook at Casino Queen is the official name of the brand in the state of Illinois, as required by government officials that were reluctantly forced to allow the former DFS-only operator access to the Illinois market. “Online-only” sportsbooks were placed in a “penalty box” of sorts that was designed to keep DraftKings and FanDuel from getting a foothold in Illinois after past problems with state attorney general Lisa Madigan.
Instead, DraftKings bought into the Casino Queen property in East St. Louis in order to gain some traction in the state and also to take advantage of what will soon be remote registration in the state. Governor J.B. Pritzker temporarily lifted the in-person registration requirement because of COVID-19, but reinstated it before the start of August. DraftKings launched its mobile app in the state on August 5.
DraftKings Sportsbook at Casino Queen missed the boat for the most part on remote registration, though they did offer anybody that registered for the app a lucrative no-deposit bonus if you were able to take advantage. Those that did not will have to make the trek to sign up in-person in East St. Louis at the retail sportsbook on the property. For those in the Chicagoland metro area, it is every bit of a 4.5-hour drive.
What this will do is entice a big following from the St. Louis, Missouri area, so DraftKings at Casino Queen could miss out on a major metro area for a while until the in-person registration requirement expires, but they’ll be able to pick up the St. Louis market and that is quite a consolation prize.
Missouri is moving forward with sports betting, but the Show Me State has been behind its neighbors to the east and the north and likely won’t have betting until next year at the earliest.
For those that can make the trek to East St. Louis, this is a great time to do it, as DraftKings is offering Tiger Woods and PGA Championship Odds and Profit Boosts offers for this week and continues to have different sportsbooks promotions and offers for the NBA, NHL, and MLB as those sports keep pushing forward.
It looks as though a plan is in place for the college football season and many are confident about the NFL starting on time. If you can take the trip on a weekend or live in or around St. Louis and can simply slide across the border, this is an excellent time to get set up before the craziness of the football season is upon us.
For those closer to Chicago in search of another option, Hawthorne Race Course in Cicero has a PointsBet Sportsbook and the mobile app for PointsBet should be launching by the end of the month.