Casino operator Boyd Gaming has reached a Nevada sports betting agreement with International Game Technology (IGT), while FanDuel is readying its Illinois market launch thanks to Boyd casino, and DraftKings is urging punters to direct their anger at Illinois politicians.

On Wednesday 19, IGT announced a “long-term” deal to supply Boyd’s Nevada properties with its PlaySports platform for both retail and online betting, whereas the venues will additionally include IGT’s self-service PlaySports Kiosks. The arrangement expands on the company’s existing sports betting deals in Indiana, Iowa, Pennsylvania and Mississippi.

The deal arrives just two weeks since IGT convinced gambling operator FanDuel to use the PlaySports platform at the latter company’s retail sportsbooks, whereas FanDuel will additionally access IGT’s PlayCasino online content.

In addition, FanDuel has an online gambling partnership with Boyd that is set to take root in Illinois, though the timing remains a mystery. FanDuel was issued a temporary betting permit from the Illinois Gaming Board a month ago, but Boyd’s Par-A-Dice Casino in East Peoria has yet to receive official permission from the organization to unveil gambling operations.

The lack of urgency may be due to Illinois Governor. J.B Pritzker’s late-last month decision to reimpose in-person registration requirements for sports punters. The restrictions had been lifted in June because of the state’s casinos shutting down due to the coronavirus, but someone – presumably with a strong opinion against DraftKings and FanDuel, seems to have whispered into Pritzker’s ear.

Boyd’s East Peoria venue is about 165 miles from Chicago, whose punters would be forced to drive nearly three hours one way to sign up for FanDuel’s betting app. Nevertheless, that’s two hours shorter (one way) that Chicago punters have to drive to sign up with DK.

DK bought a stake in the Casino Queen in East St. Louis late last month, a move planned to circumvent state laws that compel online-only firms to use the brand of their retail partners. DraftKings likely spent huge to rebrand the venue DraftKings at Casino Queen, however, the ability to market using the DK name doesn’t mean much when you are that far away from the state’s major population hub.

(FanDuel had initially planned a similar situation with the Fairmount Park racetrack, which would have been renamed the FanDuel Sportsbook & Horse Racing. However, the track has yet to obtain its Master Sports Betting License, leave alone its go-live signal from the Gaming Board, therefore, FanDuel is picking the path of least resistance with Boyd although it’s suboptimal from a branding viewpoint.)

Sports Handle reported that DK is now directing players to a website, Fans for the Future, encouraging Illinois locals to enter their contact info. Emails containing one of three messages will then be automatically forwarded to Pritzker and the punter’s local state rep. and senator, requesting them to restore online registration.


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