WynnBET Seeks Sports Betting Partner in Illinois

Earlier this year, there was a strong buzz in the legal US sports betting industry that Wynn Resorts was planning to exit the mobile market. Citing profitability issues with its interactive division, the Las Vegas-based casino gaming giant was reportedly actively shopping its WynnBET mobile sportsbook brand.

While profitability remains an issue for many US-based sportsbook operators, nothing concrete ever developed with the proposed sale. Instead, Wynn Resorts appears to be focused on expanding its current market footprint for WynnBET.

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Illinois Casino Partnerships with US Mobile Operators

Going back to November of last year, records show that WynnBET submitted an application for a Management Services Provider license with the Illinois Gaming Board. This is the first step to entering the legal sports betting market as a mobile sportsbook operator.

The next step of the process is tethering that license to an Illinois land-based casino partner. To date, WynnBET has yet to name a casino partner in the state.

There are a total of 10 land-based casinos operating in the state. Going back to the 2019 legislation that legalized sports betting in Illinois, all 10 locations were eligible to offer a retail sportsbook as part of their gaming options.

These same 10 casinos were also able to form partnerships with US-based operators to offer online sports betting through mobile sportsbook apps.

To date, only six of the 10 casinos are live with retail sportsbooks. Five mobile operators are tethered to land-based casinos. There are two other mobile operators tied to the state’s horse racing tracks.

Two of the casinos without active mobile partners are Argosy Casinos Alton and Harrah’s Joliet. Argosy Casinos Alton does have an access agreement in place with Unibet. Harrah’s Joliet has a similar agreement in place with theScore Bet. Penn National Gaming acquired theScore Bet last August for $2 billion.

Bally’s Corporation has plans to operate its own Bally’s Bet sportsbook platform in its casino property in Quad Cities. The two remaining Illinois casinos without a designated mobile sportsbook partner are Harrah’s Metropolis and Hollywood Casino Joliet.

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WynnBET’s Plans for Illinois Expansion

Wynn Resorts is now left with limited options to enter the legal Illinois mobile sportsbook marketplace. The company could turn to one of the two without an active partner. However, there are six new casino projects currently in the works.

Full House Resorts is the gaming company behind American Place in Waukegan. This location has locked in a sports betting partner through a recent agreement with Las Vegas-based Circa Sports.

Two other casino projects in Illinois are tied to Hard Rock and Bally’s. Walker’s Bluff is a new casino project in Williamson County. While this location has yet to name a sportsbook partner, there is an existing relationship between the ownership group and Elite Sportsbooks in two Iowa casinos.

Wind Creek has got the nod to build a new casino in Cook County. This gaming company has partnered with Betfred for its casino property in Pennsylvania. One last option for WynnBET in Illinois could be the new Golden Nugget casino project in Danville.

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