Caesars Entertainment is spending $4 million on enhancements at the Grand Victoria Casino in Elgin, Ill. — an effort resulting in a refurbished sportsbook and a new World Series of Poker (WSOP) poker room.
The Grand Victoria Casino in Elgin, Ill. Caesars is opening a new sportsbook and poker room there. (Image: Downtown Elgin)
Eldorado Resorts — the company that acquired Caesars in 2020 — purchased the Illinois casino in 2018 for $327.5 million in cash.
Grand Victoria Casino, located in Elgin, Illinois, is approximately 40 miles west of downtown Chicago along the banks of the Fox River. The property features 1,088 slot machines, 30 table games, a 12-table poker room and four dining options,” according to a statement.
The new sportsbook and WSPO poker room will be in space previously occupied by Indulge Kitchen Buffet. The sportsbook commands 2,100 square feet while the poker room occupies 4,400 square feet and features 20 tables. The sporsbook has three customer service windows and four self-service kiosks. In November, Grand Victoria is hosting the first WSOP event in Illinois history.
Perhaps Good Illinois Timing
News of the revamped poker and sports betting options at the Grand Victoria Casino could amount to good timing for Caesars in a market that’s increasingly competitive.
Earlier this month, Penn Entertainment announced it is spending $360 million to bring its Hollywood riverboat casino in Aurora ashore. Another $185 million is allocated to bring a riverboat gaming vessel ashore in Joliet.
Additionally, Illinois, in less than three years on the regulated US sports wagering scene, is fast climbing state-by-state rankings. Recent data from the Illinois Gaming Board (IGB) indicate the state hauled in almost $565 million in gross gaming revenue (GGR) in August, making it the second-largest sports betting state by that metric, surpassing New Jersey in the process and trailing only New York.
Illinois sportsbooks have notched about $1 billion in GGR since going live in March 2020, delivering $175 million to state coffers along the way.
Caesars operates two other casinos in the state – Harrah’s Joliet and Harrah’s Metropolis.
Caesars Sportsbook Update
Caesars Sportsbook is the brand through which bettors in Illinois and other stages place online and mobile bets with the gaming company.
On a national basis, the operators is usually around the fourth-largest behind FanDuel, BetMGM and DraftKings, depending upon the state, but Caesars was among the first sportsbook companies to markedly pullback advertising spending, indicating it’s amassing market share on a cost-effective basis.
Analysts expect that unit will report a third-quarter loss, but that loss is forecast to be among the lowest since the unit’s inception, paving the way for the operator to potentially be among the first to turn a profit from online gaming and sports betting.
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