Illinois could be the next state to legalize online gambling. Both online poker and casino games would be legalized and regulated under the current bill being considered. Unlike Nevada and New Jersey, there are few properties owned by casino giants. There are still a few big names in Illinois that could help shape the potential online gambling market.
Illinois online gambling bill details are here.
Grand Victoria Casino is located in Elgin, about 40 miles west of Chicago. The property is 50% owned by a subsidiary of Hyatt and 50% owned by a subsidiary of MGM Resorts. MGM Resorts has entered into an agreement with bwin.party to operate online poker rooms in the US. MGM Resorts owns 25% of this future company, assuming bwin.party can receive a license.
Par-A-Dice Casino in East Peoria is owned by Boyd Gaming. They are partnered with bwin.party and MGM Resorts. Assuming this partnership goes live and can receive a license, it would appear both MGM Resorts and Boyd Gaming would be setup with an online poker operator.
Caesars Entertainment owns two casinos in Illinois under the Harrah’s brand. The properties are located in Joliet and Metropolis. Caesars Entertainment has partnered with Barriere Poker to provide an online poker platform and already operates an online poker skin in the United Kingdom under the World Series of Poker brand. Between their partners and their powerful World Series of Poker brand, this company appears to be well poised to compete in the Illinois online gambling arena.
Penn National Gaming
Penn National Gaming operates two casinos in Illinois under the Hollywood Casino brand. These properties are located in Aurora and Joliet. Penn National Gaming has applied for a Nevada interactive license, but has yet to create any partnership with a software provider at this time.
Argosy owns the Alton Belle Casino in Alton. Argosy is a regional casino operator that does not have a presence in any state that has already approved online gambling. There have been no announcements out of Argosy about their intent in the online gambling industry.
Rivers Casino is located in Des Plaines and is the highest grossing casino in Illinois. The property is owned by affiliates of Neil Bluhm and Clairvest Group through the company Midwest Gaming & Entertainment. Both groups have gaming experience, but neither has any involvement in online gaming nor have they announced any potential partnerships.
Casino Queen is an employee owned riverboat in East St. Louis. This property does not appear to have any online poker experience or partners at this time.
Jumer’s Casino is located in Rock Island. The property is owned by Delaware North, a company with nearly 100 years of hospitality experience. The same family that owns Jumer’s Casino owns the NHL Boston Bruins. Even with all the experience Delaware North has in the entertainment business, they have yet to create any online gambling alliances.
Besides the companies that have already teamed up with current brick and mortar operators, there are many gaming device and software manufacturers that could make their way into the Illinois online gambling market. GTECH already holds a large contract with the Illinois Lottery, which would oversee much of the online operations. The WMS/Scientific Games merged company is likely to be in the running as well. IGT and SHFL are both heavily involved in the Illinois gaming device market and already have access to proven online gambling software.
Illinois Online Gambling Not a Sure Thing
Illinois has not approved online gambling yet, but they do appear to be in the best position to become the fourth state in the US to approve it. Online gambling is tied to a bill that would also expand brick and mortar gaming in the state by approving additional casinos as well as slot machines at airports and racetracks.