August 3, 2020
The Illinois Gaming Board gave preliminary approval to eventual casino licensure for Hawthorne Race Course in Vernon Hills, IL, which would become the state’s first “racino.” Founded in 1891, Hawthorne is the longest-running legal gambling business in the state and is Illinois’ oldest sporting venue.
Along with slot machines and table games, Hawthorne’s casino plans include a sportsbook to be developed in partnership with PointsBet. Major construction and renovation is expected to begin in September with plans for the casino to open in late 2021.
“It’s really hard to put into context what this means for the very hardworking people of the Illinois racing industry,” said Tim Carey, president and CEO of the family-owned business.
However, the Chicago Tribune reported that Churchill Downs, owner of the Arlington International Racecourse, withdrew its application for a sports wagering license at the Arlington Heights, IL facility and was considering a sale.
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