EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. — NFL Hall of Fame Running Back Marshall Faulk placed the first bet in the Draftkings Sportsbook that opened at the Casino Queen on Tuesday afternoon.
He placed a $100 bet on the Cardinals to win on Opening Day.
The 6,000 square foot state-of-the-art expansion at the Casino Queen features a 60-foot video wall, dozens of high-definition televisions, a VIP area and more than 30 betting kiosks.
“Excited because I can come hang out,” Kewan Rogers, a fan said. “Eat, drink, bet, have a good time. It's always a good thing to have somewhere to go to, get piece of mind and enjoy yourself.”
Fans have been able to bet on sports in Illinois since the summer of 2020. But now with the expansion comes seating so fans can have a place to watch games.
“The atmosphere through the March Madness tournament so far, the highs and lows, to be able to bet on sports and come in and watch games, just a new experience,” Marc VanDerWeele, GM of the Casino Queen said.
Right now, the money is only flowing on one side of the river. Until Missouri passes its own sports wagering law, it’s losing out on millions of dollars in revenue according to Webster University professor Jack Croghan.
Missouri senators are currently discussing a bill that would legalize sports gambling.
“That means there are revenues being generated just on the other side of the Mississippi River,” Croghan said. “Those revenues end up going to the state in the form of taxation of those gambling revenues.”
Sports gambling is big business. Major League Baseball stands to make nearly 1.1 billion from legal sports betting when you factor increased engagement and direct gaming revenue, according to the American Gaming Association and Nielsen.
“That incremental revenue for the state is very compelling and could be put to use in a way that the state desires to use that revenue,” Croghan said.
When states regulate sports betting, it makes the industry more transparent, Croghan said.
The Casino Queen said sports betting is growing by the game. During their busiest day, 5,000 bets were placed.