Chicago’s Hawthorne track takes step towards racino launch
Chicago’s Hawthorne Race Course has taken a step towards securing approval to develop a casino on its site, while also securing a master sports wagering licence.
The racetrack, founded in 1891, is the longest-running legal gambling business in Illinois, and yesterday saw its ownership and key personnel granted preliminary suitability to secure a casino licence by the Illinois Gaming Board.
“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 chief executive of Hawthorne Race Course.
“It means horsemen will be able to keep their businesses and families in Illinois. It means showcasing this historic sport to a new generation of fans. It means creating a truly unique, first-of-its-kind entertainment experience that won’t exist anywhere else in Illinois.”
The venue plans to begin construction on the casino facilities in September this year, and to open the venue late in 2021, subject to full regulatory approval.
Its sports betting master licence, meanwhile, means that its partner, Australian operator PointsBet, will now launch in the state in August.