HomeHawthorne Race Course

As one of the oldest courses in the USA, Hawthorne Race Course in Illinois is a unique spot. Best of all, it's not just about a long and illustrious history. The track is about to become Chicago's first 'Racino', bringing a much-loved venue bang up-to-date.

That long-awaited $400-million racino — an exciting mix of on-course equestrian action and glittering gambling halls — should be open in 2024. Even before that, there is plenty for sports lovers to enjoy at Hawthorne.

About Hawthorne Race Course in Illinois

The story begins in 1890, when Chicago businessman and racehorse owner Edward Corrigan followed up his Kentucky Derby win by purchasing a plot of land in Cicero, IL. The following year, Corrigan opened his own racetrack, and the Hawthorne legend was born.

There was a hiatus from 1905 to 1922 when the Chicago authorities banned the horses, but otherwise, the course has an unbroken history of high-class racing. Chicago's Hometown Track is unique in the USA: it is the only race course that offers year-round contests for thoroughbreds and standardbred horses. Stand-out meetings include a trio of Grade 3 stakes: the Hawthorne Gold Cup Handicap, the Illinois Derby, and the Sixty Sails Handicap. The Hawthorne Derby had a Grade 3 rating until 2017 and remains a big draw each October.

Sports fans can get their fix at the PointsBet Sportsbook lounge in the Hawthorne Racecourse in Illinois clubhouse, an exclusive space for watching and betting on top sporting action televised from around the world. And dedicated Chicago sports fans won't want to miss the Chicagoland Sports Hall of Fame, commemorating the biggest stars from the metro area.

Hawthorne Race Course and PointsBet sportsbook partnership

As soon as the state-authorized sports betting, Hawthorne Race Course was quick out of the traps in forming a partnership with PointsBet in Illinois. The pair signed a 20-year partnership deal on July 1, 2019, less than a month after legislators opened the door for Illinois sportsbooks to apply for licenses.

The deal means that Hawthorne can expand its on-site betting to include a retail sportsbook, provided by the fast-growing PointsBet brand. It also paved the way for PointsBet to open two off-course retail sportsbooks in the track's chain of betting bars throughout the state.

In the future, the partnership will also drive Hawthorne's transformation into Chicago's first racino, bringing a premium casino and sportsbook action to the historic race course.

What types of gambling does the Hawthorne Race Course offer?

  • Horse gambling. Hawthorne Race Course is the major pillar when it comes to horse race betting in Illinois. There's nothing quite like the thrill of picking a winner and collecting your cash from the betting booths around the track. And it's even better on a day out with your buddies, cheering on your horses and claiming bragging rights when you win.

How do I place a bet at the Hawthorne Race Course?

If you're a first-timer at the races, you might be confused about how to bet. Here's a beginner's guide to getting your wager on.

  1. Pick the track to bet on. Hawthorne has two courses, turf and dirt. It also has thoroughbred and trotting races. Check the schedule to find the event that takes your fancy.
  2. Select a race and bet the chosen amount. Once you're at the course, you'll be able to get a race card with details of all the runners and riders for the day's action. You can choose which races you want to bet on and decide on a stake.
  3. Decide which kind of wager to bet on. There are plenty of choices. The simplest bet is to back a horse to win the race. A place bet is about choosing a horse to finish in the top three. Exactas, trifectas, and superfectas are long-odds offers where gamblers try to predict the top two, three, or four horses, respectively. In addition, bettors can put together parlays by picking winners from multiple races on the card.
  4. Choose your horse(s). Students of the turf like to look in depth at form and breeding. Casual bettors might pick on the basis of a horse's name or colors. Either way, the choice is yours.
  5. Place your bet. Decided? Great! Just pop along to any of the on-course betting kiosks, explain what you want to back, and pay your stake. Remember to keep your slip; you'll need that to collect any winnings.

Can I bet on sports at the Hawthorne Race Course?

Yes, sports betting is all a part of the Hawthorne Race Course experience. The track has a 20-year partnership with PointsBet sportsbook and has a special lounge area in the clubhouse devoted to the best in sporting action.

Here, guests aged 21+ can relax and enjoy top events from anywhere in the world, broadcast live on the big screens. And, while the action unfolds, anyone is welcome to place their bets on the outcome.

Which sports can I bet on at the Hawthorne Race Course?

The retail sportsbook at Hawthorne offers wagers on a full range of sports from all over the world. Here are some of the biggest attractions.

  • Horse racing. An obvious first choice. Coming to a race course, gamblers are going to want to bet on the horses. The great thing about betting on horses is accessibility. While some bettors like to pore over form and breeding, low stakes mean anyone can wager a few dollars just for fun. And if studying the minutiae of the runners and riders seems too much like hard work, you'll find plenty of gamblers making their pick based on the horse's name or the jockey's colors.
  • Football. The Bears are a huge deal in Chicago sports. As one of the NFL's oldest franchises, they hold the record for the most victories in competitive play. Naturally, a huge fanbase in Chicagoland enjoys a bet on the Bears' fortunes, and football markets are among the best-developed and most lucrative for any U.S. sportsbook. As well as picking the game’s winner, you can back your team to beat the spread or choose the players who will throw or rush the most yards.
  • Baseball. The Cubs vs. White Sox rivalry is an MLB legend that resonates far beyond the Midway. And with two major forces of the sport in one city, you can bet that adds up to a huge following for America's pastime here in IL. Bookmakers are happy to get involved in this action, and you will find a huge range of markets on every game. Best of all, baseball live betting enables bettors to wager on the outcome of every pitch and every inning and gamble on the overall result.
  • Golf. Chicago proudly boasts the oldest 18-hole course in North America, and there has been big love for the game since it opened in 1892. The Medinah course regularly hosts major tournaments. Tiger Woods got his first PGA win here in the 1999 PGA Championship, and in 2012 it staged the Ryder Cup. Golf gambling is big business too, and when the majors come around it's worth looking out for generous offers from many betting companies.
  • MMA. Betting on MMA hit the headlines in July 2022, when rapper Drake staked more than $2 million on Paddy Pimblett and Molly McCann to win their bouts at UFC London. The bet came in, netting $3.7 million. The rise of the full-contact combat sport has been a revelation, attracting ever-growing pay TV audiences for the biggest bouts. That means big money and a big fanbase, leading to big interest from gambling platforms.

Contact & opening hours

Address: Hawthorne Race Course, 3501 S. Laramie, Stickney/Cicero, IL 60804
Opening hours: Sunday to Thursday, 8am-11pm; Friday, Saturday, 8am-1am.
Website: hawthorneracecourse.com
Phone number: 708-780-3700


Are there any hotels near the Hawthorne Race Course?

Yes, the Hawthorne Race Course does have hotels close by. The race course does not currently have its own hotel. However, there are nearby options. The Carlton Inn Midway is closest at 2.1 miles, while Chicago airport is just 3.8 miles away and has many hotels.

When will the casino open at the Hawthorne Race Course?

It is taking longer than expected, but the casino at the Hawthorne Race Course is due to open in 2024. Hawthorne president Tim Carey anticipates construction work to start in late 2022 and last for 14 months.

Is there free parking at the Hawthorne Race Course?

Yes, there is free parking at the Hawthorne Race Course. There are an estimated 7,500 off-site parking spaces in the vicinity of the course and much of this general parking is free. In addition, the course has on-site parking for 2,500 vehicles priced at $3 ($5 for valet parking)

Can I bet on Hawthorne Race Track from other locations?

Away from the track, Hawthorne also operates the biggest network of licensed betting bars in Illinois. There are 16 venues across the state, available in licensed casinos and Club Hawthorne bars. Here, as well as backing horses, you can watch and wager on a range of other sports.