FanDuel Enters Illinois Betting Space with Par-A-Dice Casino

FanDuel has officially stepped into the Illinois sports betting mix with the recent launch of a betting app and online sportsbook in the state.

The sports betting operator has extended an existing partnership with Boyd Gaming to go live in Illinois with the casino operator’s Par-A-Dice Casino in East Peoria.

FanDuel currently offers digital sports betting in Illinois, but since Par-A-Dice Casino holds a license to provide wagering services, a retail sportsbook could soon open doors at the gambling venue.

FanDuel operates as FanDuel Par-A-Dice Sportsbook in Illinois. That name represents a workaround to emergency branding rules proposed by state regulators earlier this year that require Illinois’ casinos to “only offer Internet and mobile sports betting wagering under the […]

casino’s brand or a brand owned by certain related entities with an 80% ownership interest.”

In a similar manner, FanDuel rival DraftKings went live in Illinois earlier in the summer by partnering Casino Queen in East St. Louis and rebranding the property as DraftKings at Casino Queen.

Illinois is the latest state FanDuel has entered in partnership with Boyd. The betting operator and the casino company first signed their alliance in mid-2018 and have since launched betting apps in Indiana and Pennsylvania and have opened retail FanDuel-branded sportsbooks at eight Boyd-owned casinos in five states.

Perfect Partners

Commenting on their Illinois launch, Boyd Gaming CEO and President Keith Smith said that “given the tremendous success of our existing FanDuel Sportsbooks, we are confident that the FanDuel Par-A-Dice Sportsbook will quickly become Illinois sports bettors’ mobile app of choice.”

Mr. Smith went on that they are excited to be able to offer both mobile and retail wagering experience in one of the nation’s most populous states as they continue to expand their partnership with FanDuel.

Matt King, CEO of FanDuel, said that Boyd and the sports betting operator are perfect partners for FanDuel to bring its sports betting app and retail experience to sports fans in Illinois.

By partnering with land-based casinos, both FanDuel and DraftKings were able to circumvent a penalty box provision in Illinois’ sports betting law that specifically aimed to prevent the two operators from entering the state until after 18 months after the first wagering licenses were issued by the Illinois Gaming Board.

FanDuel launched only the third mobile wagering app to be available in Illinois. Rush Street Gaming’s BetRivers app went live in the state in June, while DraftKings launched its digital sportsbook in August.

It should also be noted that FanDuel’s entry in Illinois had a bit of a perfect timing as Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed on August 21 an executive order that allowed sports bettors to register for betting remotely.

The Governor first signed the order in June, eliminating temporarily the mandatory in-person registration requirement in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic that forced the state’s casinos and other non-essential businesses to remain closed for months. Illinois’s top official decided not to renew the order in July after gambling venues were allowed to resume operations, but eventually re-issued it the following month.

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