In collaboration with sportsbook operator PointsBet, Hawthorne Race Course has unveiled the newest retail sportsbook in Illinois and the nearest in-person sports betting venue to downtown Chicago.
At the beginning of the NFL season, PointsBet launched its mobile app and digital sports betting product in Illinois. The Hawthorne facility is the first of four sites in Chicagoland that the two companies will open as partners in Illinois. It is a precursor to the PointsBet Sportsbook premium, which will be part of the landmark $400 m casino creation of Hawthorne, expected to open in late 2021 pending final regulatory approval.
Tim Carey, president and CEO of Hawthorne Race Course said: “The next year is going to be action-packed for Hawthorne as we prepare to redevelop the race track into a fully operational casino and premier gaming entertainment destination.
“And that action starts now with the opening of our new PointsBet Sportsbook. We partnered with PointsBet because they have the best technology and are truly innovative, but also because they put customer service at the forefront, which is critical to our long-term success particularly for the on-site experience.”
For the modern realities of on-site entertainment, the PointsBet Sportsbook at Hawthorne was built with a “bet-and-go” lobby with six self-service kiosks as well as a modular “watch-and-wager” sportsbook with sufficient social distance.
More than 60 HD TVs, 20 self-service kiosks, a three-person betting concierge counter including a dedicated high denomination wager desk, and a reserved seating VIP lounge are included in the sportsbook.
PointsBet USA CEO Johnny Aitken commented: “PointsBet has been successful in making a name for itself by offering a personalized mobile sports betting experience with unrivaled speed and ease of use, as well as the most bet types across every game.
“At the heart of that effort is our passion for live sports and entertainment, and our desire to always put the bettor first. While most stadiums across the country are currently closed to fans, our sportsbook is a place for sports lovers to engage together and share that game day excitement in a safe and responsible manner. We, together with our partner Hawthorne Race Course, are thrilled to provide the Illinois consumer with exactly what they’ve been craving.”
The ceremonial first wagers were made by Jeff Walik, Mayor of the Village of Stickney, where Hawthorne is located; and Illinois state representative Bobby Rita, who was the chief architect of the gaming expansion bill that legalised Illinois sports betting.
On October 2, with weekend racing through the end of the year, Thoroughbred racing returns to Hawthorne this week. While the new Hawthorne Casino is under construction, the interim sportsbook and racing clubhouse will host wagering, which will feature slots , table games and a state-of-the-art PointsBet Sportsbook, in addition to restaurants , bars and an entirely new grandstand and clubhouse for racing fans.
In the coming weeks in suburban Crestwood, Oakbrook and Prospect Heights, three more PointsBet Sportsbooks will open in off-track betting bars at Club Hawthorne.