Circa Hopes for Illinois Sports Betting Launch by End of August

Circa Hopes for Illinois Sports Betting Launch by End of August
Fact Checked by Jim Tomlin

Illinois sports betting customers might soon have another wagering option available to them.

BetIllinois spoke recently with Circa owner Derek Stevens. He could not share many details because the company is still going through the licensing process, but Stevens expressed hope the sportsbook would launch in its fourth state in the not-too-distant future.

“Right now, all of our licensing is effectively complete, and we are hopeful to be able to open up towards the end of August,” he said.

The Illinois Gaming Board’s website shows Circa as an applicant as of May 16.

Illinois Online and Retail Sportsbooks Planned

If approved, Circa plans to offer an online Illinois betting app option and a brick-and-mortar sportsbook.

Circa’s partner in Illinois is Full House Resorts. Like Circa, Full House is a Las Vegas-based company. It has received a license to build a casino in Waukegan, just north of Chicago.

Full House plans to invest $375 million to build American Place, an upscale casino resort featuring 20 villa suites and other luxury amenities.

The upscale feel also extends to Full House’s temporary facility, which opened in February. Dubbed The Temporary, it features hundreds of slot machines and dozens of table games.

Circa will also have a presence in The Temporary, and Full House has already set aside space for its sports betting partner. The brick-and-mortar sportsbook in the short-term venue will include three dozen large-screen televisions and several betting windows and kiosks.

“Once you’re inside this tent, you wouldn’t think you’re inside a temporary casino,” he said. “It’s probably the nicest build-out I’ve ever seen inside a tent.”

The permanent American Place casino is set to open in 2025. That, too, will host a Circa retail sportsbook.

Big Sports Betting Market in Illinois

Seven sports betting operators are licensed or hold temporary permits in the state. They are BetMGM sportsbook Illinois, Barstool, BetRivers, Caesars Sportsbook, DraftKings, FanDuel and PointsBet.

Meanwhile, Circa is one of five operators awaiting IGB action on their application. The others are BallyBET, Hard Rock Sportsbook, Unibet and WynnBet.

While Illinois does not have as many sports betting options as other states, it remains one of the country's more active markets.

From March 2022 to this past February, Illinois bettors wagered $10.15 billion. Only New York and New Jersey posted higher handles during that timeframe.

IllinoisBet will continue to cover the latest in the state’s sportsbook apps, plus the best Illinois sports betting promos.



Steve Bittenbender

Steve is an accomplished, award-winning reporter with more than 20 years of experience covering gaming, sports, politics and business. He has written for the Associated Press, Reuters, The Louisville Courier Journal, The Center Square and numerous other publications. Based in Louisville, Ky., Steve has covered the expansion of sports betting in the U.S. and other gaming matters.

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