Australia’s PointsBet Receives Sports Betting Permit in Illinois

  • PointsBet partner Hawthorne Racecourse must still receive a master license
  • The Australia-based operator will offer both retail and online services
  • The focus will be on Hawthorne Racecourse, with off-track locations launched in the future
Person sports betting on phone and laptop
Australia-based PointsBet has been approved for a sports betting permit in Illinois. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Joining the new industry

The Illinois Gaming Board has approved Australia-based PointsBet for a temporary sports betting permit. With the certification, the sports betting operator can provide retail and online services in the state.

PointsBet has partnered with Hawthorne Racecourse, though the southwest Chicago racetrack must still receive approval for a master license before services can go live.

Temporary sports betting permit

PointsBet will focus its sports betting services at Hawthorne Racecourse, but the brand also has plans to open several off-track locations. In a statement, PointsBet informed that since Illinois sports betting legislation was signed into law in June 2019, the company has been working with Hawthorne to build a “world-class, multi-faceted sports entertainment venue centrally located at the Hawthorne Racecourse, together with several off-track betting outlets throughout the Greater Chicago area.”

Illinois’ first phase of sports betting rules requires racetracks that apply for licensing to pay $5m or 5% of their 2018 handle, capped at $10m. Hawthorne Racecourse will have to meet this requirement as it seeks regulatory approval. License holders pay a 15% tax on sports betting gross revenue.

In-person registration suspended

Governor J.B. Pritzker issued an executive order in early June, suspending an in-person registration requirement for players to access online sports betting. Because of the coronavirus outbreak, the requirement was changed so that customers no longer had to visit a physical location to sign up for an online account, since gaming venues were closed.

it will mark the sixth US state in which the company offers sports betting services

The rule change benefits PointsBet, as it can ramp up its operations more quickly. Once PointsBet is live in Illinois, it will mark the sixth US state in which the company offers sports betting services.

When the registration change was made, Rivers Casino jumped into the new online sports betting industry first. The casino launched the BetRivers app on June 18, becoming the first legal online sportsbook for the state.

To place online sports bets in Illinois, players must be 21 years of age or older and located inside the state’s borders.