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Circa Sports Gets Illinois Entry With Help From Full House

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Posted on: May 9, 2022, 05:45h. 

Last updated on: May 9, 2022, 06:00h.

The Illinois sports wagering market will soon welcome one of the industry’s fastest-growing players with the arrival of Circa Sports.

Circa Sports
Circa Sportsbook in downtown Las Vegas. The company is entering Illinois through an agreement with Full House Resorts. (Image: Las Vegas Weekly)

Las Vegas-based Circa Sports is entering Illinois through an agreement with regional casino operator Full House Resorts (NASDAQ:FLL). In releasing first-quarter results today, Full House said it broke ground on a temporary casino in Waukegan, Ill. at the eventual site of the company’s American Place gaming venue. Circa is using one of Full House’s skins in Illinois.

In exchange for such rights, the Company received a market access fee of $5 million in May 2022 and will also receive payments totaling at least $5 million per year, on an annualized basis, once Circa Sports launches its mobile sports skin in Illinois,” according to a statement issued by the regional casino firm.

The initial term of the accord is eight years, with rights for Circa to sign two four-year extensions. Circa’s entry into Illinois will be at The Temporary by American Place, where it will also operate a retail sportsbook.

Circa Illinois Interest

Illinois marks the fourth state in which Circa Sports will offer mobile sports wagering, joining Colorado, Iowa, and Nevada.

By population, Illinois is by far the largest of that quartet, and it’s also one of the largest, fastest-growing regulated sports wagering markets in the US. News of Circa’s move into the Midwest state arrives less than a month after the operator said it’s planning to open a brick-and-mortar sportsbook at the Legends Bay Casino in Sparks in the coming months, marking its first move into northern Nevada.

Currently, Circa’s most famous retail sportsbook — the world’s largest — is located at its namesake integrated resort in downtown Las Vegas. While more details are forthcoming regarding the Sparks sportsbook, it’s clear the operator is aiming high in Illinois.

“The Temporary will include a dedicated wagering area with betting kiosks, physical ticket windows, and digital boards with real-time odds.  Bettors can catch all the sports action on 36 televisions, ranging from 60” to 80” screens,” according to a statement issued by Circa Sports.

American Place Allure

Analysts covering Full House are already enthusiastic about the American Place project, with some noting it could generate 2023 and 2024 earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) of $38 million and $50 million.

Adding to the appeal of the venue for both Circa Sports and Full House is the point that Waukegan, Ill. — home of the gaming property — is in the most affluent county in the state, and that the casino will be the closest to 1.2 million Illinois residents.

“The permanent American Place facility is slated to include a world-class casino with a state-of-the-art sports book; a premium boutique hotel comprised of 20 luxurious villas, each ranging from 1,500 to 2,500 square feet with full butler service; a 1,500-seat live entertainment venue; a gourmet restaurant that will rival the finest restaurants in Chicago,” notes Full House.

Separately, Full House noted a sports betting partner in Colorado and Indiana is ending its agreement with the company, and Full House is now looking for other operators to buy those skins. The casino operator didn’t confirm as much, but the firm ending the Colorado and Indiana pacts is likely Wynn Resorts (NASDAQ:WYNN).


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