The latest retail sportsbook opening in the Prairie State is a stone’s throw north of the Kentucky-Illinois border.
That’s because Caesars Entertainment, which operates the online Caesars Illinois Sportsbook, opened the doors on its Caesars Sportsbook at Harrah’s Metropolis Casino and Hotel this month. It is the first retail wagering space in the casino’s 30-year history. The casino is in the southern Illinois town of Metropolis, on the Ohio River that divides the state from Kentucky.
Former NFL Player Kicks Off Occasion
To kick off the new betting space, former NFL safety George Wilson Jr., a native of nearby Paducah, Kentucky, placed the ceremonial first bet on Sept. 7, according to several local media outlets. The opening begins a new era for the borderland casino.
The retail sportsbook operators are part of legal Illinois sports betting, which is dominated by online options.
Bill Reeg, Caesars Entertainment’s regional president, said in a statement the addition of the company’s latest retail sportsbook this month has been an honor years in the making.
“Caesars is proud of our commitment to Illinois and the entire southern Illinois region,” Reeg said. “We’re excited to open our new Caesars Sportsbook at Harrah’s Metropolis to honor the legacy it holds in the region. We can’t wait to introduce all that sports betting has to offer to sports fans while sharing our emphasis on responsible gaming.”
What Harrah’s Caesars Sportsbook Adds
The latest Caesars Sportsbook-branded betting area joins existing Illinois retail facilities at Grand Victoria Casino of Elgin and Harrah’s Casino in Joliet. That complements the company’s position as one of the leading online Illinois betting apps.
The retail sportsbook also joins other brick-and-mortar betting locations, such as Rivers Casino Sportsbook in Des Plaines, DraftKings at Casino Queen in East St. Louis, FanDuel Sportsbook and Horse Racing at Fairmount Park, PointsBet Sportsbook at Hawthorne Race Course, Barstool’s retail spaces at Hollywood Casino Joliet & Aurora, as well as Argosy Casino Alton and Hard Rock Casino in Rockford.
Throw in future retail spaces at Bally’s Quad City Casino and Circa Sports’ retail space at New American Place Casino in Waukegan and you have the full picture of where Illinois’ retail wagering scene stands at the moment.
Even outside of sports, there are varied casino options in the state including a new Bally’s Chicago casino, a temporary facility that opened this month. Bally’s plans a permanent Windy City casino at the site of the Chicago Tribune publishing plant.
With the state’s sports betting scene collecting north of $5.2 billion in wagers through six months of reporting this year, there’s no signs of slowing down for Illinois sportsbooks (both online and retail) anytime soon.
Retail sportsbooks in Illinois are coming off a month where they collected just over $18 million in handle (June), bringing the state’s retail handle since July 2020 to $940 million.
“We are excited to bring sports betting to our valued customers at Harrah’s Metropolis,” Sherry Wessel, who serves as Harrah’s Metropolis general manager, said in a company press release. “The launch of our sportsbooks at Harrah’s Metropolis is just the beginning. We look forward to serving sports fans on every platform and offering our customers unforgettable experiences with Caesars Rewards.”
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