ALTON, Ill. — The St. Louis area is officially getting its first sportsbook.

Argosy Casino in Alton has announced it will be opening its new sportsbook in March and is planning to open in time for the NCAA 'March Madness' basketball tournament later that month.

The sportsbook is set to feature more than 25 big screen TV's with betting windows and self-service kiosks.

Argosy will host a job fair on Wednesday, February 12 from 3-6 p.m. at the casino to hire additional staff for the new addition.

“We are excited to be the first to introduce sports betting to the region," Steve Peate, Argosy Casino Alton Vice President and General Manager said. "Our all new Sportsbook integrated with our Hops House Restaurant & Bar will provide a unique experience for our guests to dine, bet and enjoy all the action."

Alton is the first casino in southern Illinois to take advantage of the state's new gaming expansion laws passed last June, allowing casinos to apply for sports gambling permissions.

Argosy Casino was the first riverboat casino in the entire state of Illinois and has been in operation since 1991.

Fairmount Park racetrack in Collinsville, Illinois has also expressed interest in opening a casino and sports book after the passage of the state's expanded gaming laws.

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