Grand Victoria Casino in Elgin becomes third in state to open sportsbook

  • Grand Victoria Casino in Elgin became the third casino in Illinois to offer sports betting with the opening of its brick-and-mortar sportsbook this week.

    Grand Victoria Casino in Elgin became the third casino in Illinois to offer sports betting with the opening of its brick-and-mortar sportsbook this week. Rick West | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 8/4/2020 4:02 PM

Grand Victoria Casino in Elgin opened its new sportsbook this week, becoming the third casino in the state to offer bets on sports since it was legalized last year.

The Elgin casino is working with a noted name in the sports betting industry -- London-based William Hill PLC -- to operate the local sportsbook.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

"Partnering with the country's leading sports betting operator allows us to offer our customers an elevated experience that features industry-leading wagering and technology," Grand Victoria Senior Vice President and General Manager Bill Gustafson said in a news release Monday. "The sportsbook is in a prime location that will draw sports fans in and keep them engaged as they cheer on their favorite teams."

The sportsbook is just steps away from the bar on the main casino floor and features three full-service ticket windows, though only two are open for now to comply with social distancing guidelines, officials said.

The area has several high-top tables, comfortable seating options and multiple televisions, they said. Bets can be placed daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

William Hill's application to offer mobile sports betting in Illinois is pending before the Illinois Gaming Board.

Opening of the new sportsbook comes about a month after Grand Victoria and the state's nine other casinos were allowed to reopen after a 3-month shutdown amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Shortly before the temporary closure in March, Rivers Casino in Des Plaines became the first gambling house in the state to open a brick-and-mortar sportsbook, followed by Argosy Casino in downstate Alton. Rivers launched its sports betting app in June.

Other casinos planning sportsbooks, but still awaiting regulatory approvals, include the Hollywood Casinos in Aurora and Joliet, Par-A-Dice Casino in East Peoria, and Casino Queen in East St. Louis.

While the Elgin sportsbook marks William Hill's foray into Illinois, the British bookmaker came to the United States in 2012 with a focus on Nevada, where it now operates 113 race and sportsbooks. It also operates books in Indiana, Iowa, West Virginia and New Jersey.

Its management of the Elgin sportsbook is part of a larger partnership with Caesars Entertainment, which now runs Grand Victoria. Plans call for an expansion of sports wagering at Caesars properties across the country, officials said.

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