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FanDuel Details Illinois Sports Betting & Horse Racing Plans

Lou Monaco for Bookies.com

Lou Monaco  | 3 mins

FanDuel Details Illinois Sports Betting & Horse Racing Plans

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The sports betting and horse racing industry in Illinois has received a shot in the arm from FanDuel.

FanDuel on Monday announced plans to make a multi-million-dollar investment in Fairmount Park Racetrack in Collinsville. In addition to benefitting the Illinois market, the track is located about 12 miles from St. Louis. Missouri has not legalized sports betting.

FanDuel has been live in the Illinois market since Aug. 28, when it launched its sports betting app in Illinois through a partnership with Boyd Gaming, owners of Par-A-Dice Casino in East Peoria. The Illinois Gaming Board on Oct. 29 approved a sports betting license for FanDuel and Fairmount Park, giving FanDuel another entry in the growing Illinois sports betting market.

The sports betting license for FanDuel will be transferred from Par-A-Dice Casino to FanDuel Sportsbook and Horse Racing, pending approval from the gaming board, according to a news release.

Under the terms of the agreement, the 95-year-old Fairmount Park Racetrack will be rebranded as FanDuel Sportsbook and Horse Racing, the news release said. A full revitalization of the venue is planned, including the opening of a FanDuel Sportsbook retail location.

This Fairmount agreement is FanDuel’s first investment in a race track.

FanDuel has a role in the horse racing industry via its subsidiary TVG, an online ADW platform and 24-hour sports-oriented digital cable and satellite television network.

FanDuel Will Ugrade the Racetrack

William Stiritz and Associates will work with FanDuel to revitalize the track, including upgrades to the facility and the establishment of a FanDuel Sportsbook retail location pending continued licensing and regulatory approvals from the gaming board, the release said. The gaming board also said on Oct. 29 that the track was suitable for a racino.

FanDuel and TVG will fund the renewal and running of the $250,000 St. Louis Derby, the track’s signature horse racing betting event that has not been conducted since 2006 because of financial constraints. Lawyer Ron last captured the event.

“We are delighted to partner with Fairmount Park to continue bringing high quality horse racing and soon additional entertainment experiences via our sportsbook to the region,” Matt King, chief executive officer of FanDuel, said in the news release “Fairmount is an iconic state landmark which we plan to modernize bringing innovative technology and entertainment offerings only FanDuel can deliver.”

Rich History at Fairmount Park

Fairmount Park Racetrack is one of three horse racing venues currently active in Illinois and the only one outside of the Chicago metro area. The track opened in 1925 and offers thoroughbred racing on a one-mile dirt oval. Fairmount Park has been approved to host 53 live racing days in 2021, starting on April 27, along with daily simulcast wagering on tracks throughout the country.

“Fairmount Park is excited to extend our partnership with FanDuel Group to now include their sports gaming platform,” Melissa Helton, general manager of Fairmount Park, said in the release. “This partnership will allow the park to remain an important economic driver for the surrounding communities.”

FanDuel Group is no stranger to investing in horse racing, having been a major sponsor of marquee horse racing events including the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, the TVG Pacific Classic, the TVG.com Haskell Invitational and major races at Keeneland Racecourse in Lexington, Kentucky.

FanDuel Sportsbook is currently available in 11 states via retail and online.

About the Author

Lou Monaco for Bookies.com
Lou Monaco
Lou Monaco had been East Coast Scene columnist for Gaming Today in Las Vegas since June 2019, covering the East Coast sportsbook scene with emphasis on NJ and PA.