Illinois Casino Queen Begins Expansion on DraftKings Sportsbook
Illinois Casino Queen could not be starting expansion for its DraftKings Sportsbook at a better time. The state is on the verge of legalizing wagers on in-state college programs in retail locations, and sports betting is sweeping the nation.
The project will cost Casino Queen $10 million, but the high price tag is expected to bring a massive return. The expansion should make Casino Queen the primary retail betting destination in Illinois.
Plans for the Sportsbook Expansion
The Illinois Casino Queen will expand the DraftKings Sportsbook by 30,000 square feet. The current book is not small by any means at 40,000, so this expansion will bring the entire property to 70,000 square feet.
Mobile betting is legal in Illinois, but the landlocked DraftKings Sportsbook at Casino Queen has been very successful in the first three months of 2020 regarding retail wagering.
It’s typically tough for retail sportsbooks to gain traction with mobile betting, but the DraftKings Sportsbook has produced $875,000 in betting revenue from January through April. The entire sportsbook, which includes other gaming options, made $20.2 million in the first four months of 2021, so the entire property is very popular.
Terry Downey, president and CEO of Casino Queen Holding Inc., announced the book expansion this week.
“Sports wagering has greatly elevated Illinois gaming, and we are creating an environment at DraftKings at Casino Queen to capture that excitement. Through our partnership with DraftKings, a cutting-edge sportsbook, and exceptional new dining experiences, we will soon offer a gaming destination that is unmatched in this region.”
Features of the Expansion
The DraftKings Sportsbook at the casino is already luxurious, but the expansion will make it elite. There will be new lounge style seating throughout the property with additional oversized HDTVs.
There will also be a full-service restaurant and bar in the sportsbook. For people who just want a quick bite, that option will be available as well. There will be a food court portion of the sportsbook for fans who cannot take their eyes off the television.
Retail Sports Betting in Illinois
Casino Queen competes with a variety of properties for retail sports betting. The sportsbook at the casino ranks third in the total retail handle at $15.8 million since last August. The regional competitors for Casino Queen are Argosy Casino Alton and the FanDuel Sportsbook and Horse Racing track in Collinsville.
This expansion aims for the DraftKings Sportsbook at Casino Queen to become the easy choice for retail bettors. The expansion will put the property in a class of its own, but the casino still needs to attract fans to the property.
Retail sports betting has accounted for a $134 million handle in Illinois’ first year of legal sports betting. This is only 3.8% of the total statewide handle of $3.6 billion. This is not indicative of the year ahead as Illinois is now open compared to last year’s pandemic closures.
Tanner Kern is a writer for Knup Sports and the Sports 2.0 Network. He is the host of Between the Lines, the official show of Baseball Spotlight, and the main contributor for the website. Connect with Tanner on IG @tannerkern and Twitter @tannerkern_.