The new DraftKings Sportsbook at Casino Queen in East St. Louis, Illinois, is under construction.
DraftKings announced this week that it has broken ground on the estimated $10 million expansion project, including a state-of-the-art DraftKings sportsbook with a new dining promenade featuring a three-outlet food court and a full-service restaurant. The project will be located at 200 S. Front St. along the Mississippi River, encompassing approximately 30,000 square feet. It is expected to be completed in December 2021.
“Sports wagering has greatly elevated Illinois gaming and we are creating an environment at DraftKings at Casino Queen to capture that excitement,” Terry Downey, president and CEO of Casino Queen, said in a news release Tuesday. “Through our partnership with DraftKings, a cutting-edge sportsbook, and exceptional new dining experiences, we will soon offer a gaming destination that is unmatched in this region.”
The expanded DraftKings sportsbook will be near the casino floor. It was designed to showcase a new gaming destination with a contemporary design and the latest sports wagering technology. The sportsbook will feature new plush, lounge-style seating and oversized high-definition TVs to provide optimal viewing for fans to watch numerous sporting events.
“We are excited to be working with Casino Queen to bring our premier sports betting experience to the state and its sports fans,” Ezra Kucharz, DraftKings chief business officer, said in a news release last year when the companies announced their partnership. “Through this collaboration, we have the opportunity to change how fans engage with the sports they love while becoming a part of the fabric of Illinois’ rich sports culture.”
New food and beverage options are planned for the new facility. The full-service restaurant will include complete menus offering a variety of breakfast, lunch and dinner options. The bar will provide a social setting for guests, while the food court will include three different quick-service casual dining options.
DraftKings at Casino Queen has partnered with JCJ Architecture to lead the construction of the facility. JCJ has led hundreds of gaming and hospitality projects across the U.S. and internationally.
If the State Senate passes an amendment currently under consideration, the DraftKings Sportsbook at Casino Queen could serve as an option for betting on in-state teams.
The state’s House recently passed an amendment to Senate Bill 521 that allows Illinois residents to bet on in-state college games. The amendment passed the House with a vote of 96-11 and now needs approval from the Senate before it can go to Gov. JB Pritzker to be signed.
The bill mandates anyone who wishes to bet on in-state college teams must do so in person at any of the state’s retail sportsbooks. A new DraftKings Sportsbook at Casino Queen would give players another option to place these kinds of bets.
According to the bill, wagers on Illinois teams can only be “Tier 1,” meaning bets that are “determined solely by the final score or outcome” of a contest.” The wagers must be submitted before the start of the game. Betting on player props remains prohibited.