It’s Triple Crown season. That means everyone’s interest in horse racing is going up. As a result, more people are looking to visit tracks in their home states. Here are two tracks to visit in Illinois.
If you’re a passionate sports fan planning to visit the state of Illinois, you should plan around visiting the state’s top sportsbooks/casinos as well as its two racetracks that offer live betting.
The state of Illinois is home to the FanDuel Sportsbook and Horse Racing venue as well as the Hawthorne Race Course & PointsBet Sportsbook. These are the two states that allow you to witness horse racing in-person complemented by the option to place wagers.
Illinois has a rich history when it comes to horse racing, having started up the Illinois Derby — a Triple Crown prep race — in 1923. The race was last held in 2017, and it remains to be seen if (when?) it’ll make a return in the near future.
There are many ways to bet on the Derby, but Illinois sportsbooks promo codes offer the best value. This includes an offer from Caesars in which you can get up to $1,250 in bonus bets, a “second chance” wager from BetRivers of up to $500 and $150 in bonus bets from FanDuel if you wager $5.
Here is a dive into the two sportsbooks/horse race tracks to check out during your visit to Illinois.
FanDuel Sportsbook and Horse Racing (Collinsville)
The FanDuel Sportsbook and Horse Racing venue in Collinsville is the ideal place to spend a summer day during your visit here.
The racetrack features live horse racing every Tuesday at 1 p.m. and Saturday evenings at 7:30 p.m. (both local time). The sportsbook is open seven days a week (till 11pm Sundays to Fridays and till 12 a.m. on Saturday), allowing customers to place a variety of different bets on their favorite sports.
This of course includes the NFL, NBA, MLB and NHL. Every Tuesday carries a “Horse Hooky Tuesday” special in which you can get $1 sodas and hot dogs and $1.50 drafts.
Hawthorne Race Course & PointsBet Sportsbook (Cicero)
Hawthorne is located in Cicero, approximately eight miles from Chicago. For the month of May, the venue is holding live horse races on Thursdays and Sundays.
The racetrack features its own sports bar, a self-serving kiosk and 60 television sets. The aforementioned Illinois Derby would be held right here at the Hawthorne Race Course & PointsBet Sportsbook.
The Growth of Sports Betting In Illinois
This month already marks five years since the Supreme Court of the United States overturned the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA).
The act, which was signed in Oct. 1992, barred sports betting from taking place across the vast majority of the United States for nearly 26 years. But sportsbooks and betting enthusiasts scored a massive victory in May 2018, when the Supreme Court nullified the act — determining that it violated America’s Tenth Amendment.
Sports betting had already been legal in Nevada (a notable exception, as Las Vegas is the gambling capital of the world), prior to the Supreme Court’s historic ruling. The states of Mississippi, New Jersey and Delaware were the first three to launch a form of legalized sports betting after the ruling.
“The Land of Lincoln” officially launched sports betting in June 2020 during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, while none of the “big four” professional sports (NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB) were active.
According to the Legal Sports Report, the state of Illinois has taken in just over $20.601 billion in sports bets to date. That has garnered more than $1.629 billion in revenue for the state up to this point.
Only the states of New Jersey, Nevada, New York and Pennsylvania have taken more in handles up to this point. But of course, sports betting has been legal in the state of New Jersey, Nevada and Pennsylvania longer than Illinois — and New York’s state population (approx. 20.448 million) is nearly double the Illinois population (about 12.8 million).
Chicago is one of the biggest sports markets in the U.S. The Windy City has the NBA’s Bulls, the NFL’s Bears, the NHL’s Blackhawks as well as the Cubs and White Sox of Major League Baseball.
Throw in the NCAA programs from schools like the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Illinois State University, DePaul University, Northwestern and Loyola, and you have no shortage of popular sports teams to bet on in Illinois.
It’s no wonder that within less than three years, Illinois has emerged as a national leader in the sports betting industry.