The long and anticipated wait for Circa Sports to hit Illinois is over.
The legal sports betting online and retail sportsbook went live on Friday at 1 p.m. ET, just in time for a busy weekend slate of college football and NFL action.
The launch of Circa, a popular brand in Las Vegas, comes after a long road that began in May 2022 when the operator applied for a betting license in Illinois. It ultimately took until April 2023 to receive approval to operate.
“The debut of Circa Sports Illinois is a tremendous moment for our company, and we are thrilled to have worked with this great state and Full House Resorts to bring the expansion to life,” said Circa owner Derek Stevens. “There’s nothing like a Midwest sports fan and we know our product matches up with what they are looking for in a betting experience.”
The plan was to launch in August, but Circa and partner Fun House Entertainment had to wait for American Place’s “The Temporary” to pass a probation period before the brick-and-mortar shop could open for business, thus also clearing the way for wagering on its online betting site.
Circa's brand expands
Circa currently runs six Nevada sportsbooks, including one of the most popular operations on the strip at Circa Resort & Casino. It also has sportsbooks at The D and Golden Gate Casino. Circa branched out to Legends Bay in Northern Nevada last year and currently operates online in both Colorado and Iowa.
On Thursday, Circa Sports also announced a licensing agreement with ECL Corbin, LLC to begin operating its mobile site in Kentucky through Cumberland Run harness track and The Mint Gaming Hall, giving Circa its fifth market.
A sportsbook that prides itself on giving bettors a customer-first approach, a user-friendly interface, and accepting wagers on a wide variety of markets, Circa also runs the wildly popular Million and Survivor football contests.
Land of Lincoln competition
Entering the sixth-largest state in the country and one of the leading sports betting markets marks a significant achievement for Circa, which is also eyeing Michigan, New Jersey, and Ohio as potential markets.
Illinois could be a great test for expansion as there is plenty of established competition in the Land of Lincoln. Circa faces plenty of competition from FanDuel, DraftKings, PointsBet, BetMGM, Caesars, Barstool Sportsbook, and BetRivers.
Illinois sports betting has produced more than $2 billion of revenue for operators since wagering began in 2020. The Land of Lincoln took in a handle of $611.4 million in July.
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