PointsBet and Hawthorne unveil first off-track sportsbook in Illinois

28th January 2021 8:49 am GMT

Hawthorne Race Course and its sports betting partner PointsBet have opened the first off-track sportsbook in Illinois after securing approval from the Illinois Gaming Board.

The newly remodeled Club Hawthorne in suburban Crestwood forms part of Hawthorne’s off-tracking betting (OTB) network and is the first of three OTB locations that will open under Illinois’ sports betting regulations.

“Hawthorne is the only gaming company in the Chicagoland area that is able to open sportsbooks at off-track and non-casino locations, so this is an opportunity on which we focused a lot of energy and investment,” said Hawthorne Race Course president and CEO Tim Carey. “We completely remodeled the space to create the best sports viewing and sports betting destination in the state.”

The PointsBet Sportsbook at Club Hawthorne in Crestwood opened its doors Wednesday and features a video wall and twenty-four TVs bookending the viewing area, as well as a fully integrated sound system to create an arena-like experience. The venue hosts six self-service kiosks and five betting clerk stations, which are socially distanced and separated by plexiglass barriers.

“As sports fans we all love the game, love the action, but we also love experiencing it with other fans,” said PointsBet USA chief executive Johnny Aitken. “The unique opportunity to open a new-style of standalone sportsbooks with Hawthorne required us to develop something that would match the best-in-class customer experience that PointsBet provides on our mobile platform. This isn’t just the best sportsbook in Chicago, it’s the best sports bar too.”

PointsBet launched its first retail sportsbook in Illinois at Hawthorne Race Course last September.

Shares in Pointsbet Holdings Ltd (ASX:PBH) closed 4.5 per cent lower at AUD$15.49 per share in Sydney Thursday.

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