The company has received approval from the Illinois Gaming Board (IGB), but the sportsbook company still cannot begin its operation due to pending legislation.
Circa Waiting Since May 2022
In May 2022, Circa Sports Sportsbook signed a partnership with Full House Resorts, which owns a soon-to-be-open casino hotel American Place in Waukegan.
According to the agreement, the sportsbook operator can run a retail sportsbook at the casino and offer mobile betting.
As American Place is still under development and slated for launch in 2025, it opened an interim venue in March named The Temporary. Circa Sportsbook isn’t operational in The Temporary or anywhere else in Illinois.
Circa Patiently Goes Through the Steps
Once the operator receives a permit, the casino will feature a retail Circa Sportsbook, betting kiosks, digital boards with real-time odds, and physical ticket windows. Bettors can watch various sports events, from the NBA to professional tennis, on 36 TV monitors.
“There’s a natural process that gets followed. But pending normal gaming approvals, we believe Circa Sports could go live here in the next few months,” said Full House CFO Lewis Fanger.
Circa Sports’ Marketing Manager Aaron Oster said the company hopes its online sportsbook can go live in the third quarter of 2023, especially before the football season.
However, the company cannot go into details on when the launch will be, with “the timing is not really in our hands,” according to Circa founder and owner Derek Stevens.”From our perspective, hopefully, it’s as soon as possible,” said Stevens.
Circa is a Top Vegas Sportsbook
Since its establishment in 2018, Circa has gained recognition as the foremost destination for in-person sports betting in Las Vegas. Its current market share in its home state sits at 3.5 percent.
Circa offers top-notch odds and established betting limits found nowhere else without gimmicks — instead of competing in promotions and exotic prepositions, it tries to provide the most favorable prices of any sportsbook on major markets. Hence, Circa will be excellent for the sports betting landscape in Illinois.
Circa will have some competition in Illinois, as leading names such as DraftKings, Caesars, FanDuel, and BetMGM have been operating in the Prairie State for a few years.
Further Circa Expansion plans
The almost one-year-long wait did not lower Stevens’ spirit. He is optimistic that Circa Sports will be able to offer in-person and mobile wagering to Illinois sports bettors soon, as well as expanding into other states.
Circa is selective in choosing new markets to enter. Some don’t align with the company’s business models, such as New York’s heavy 51 percent tax rate on sports betting revenue and Tennessee’s hold mandate of at least 10 percent.
Currently, Circa is partnered with Century Casinos in Colorado and Wild Rose Casino in Iowa, with plans for mobile betting on the horizon. However, the company has only made up less than 1 percent of the market share in Iowa, despite the launch in October 2021.
Some markets, such as Michigan, New Jersey, and Ohio, are under expansion consideration, as Stevens highlighted in “The Bostonian vs. The Book,” a sports podcast led by Matt Perrault and Dave Sharapan.
Another state that could be favorable for Circa is Arizona. Its sports wagering tax rates, proximity to Circa’s home state, and prospective customers’ potential familiarity with the brand could be the driving factors. Indiana and Louisiana hold the potential for expansion as well.