Unibet Gains Access to Illinois & Ohio Sports Betting Markets

Unibet Gains Access to Illinois & Ohio Sports Betting Markets
© USA Today

Unibet and parent company Kindred Group continue to expand their U.S. footprint, announcing Tuesday they have gained market access to Illinois and Ohio.

Unibet and Kindred have entered into an agreement with Penn National Gaming to operate online sports betting and online casino gaming in the two states pending regulatory approval, according to a news release. Retail and online sports betting is legal in Illinois while Ohio is considering legislation this fall.

The agreements provide Unibet and Kindred the access to pursue licensing in Illinois, through Argosy Casino Alton, and Ohio, through Hollywood Casino. The agreements are for 10 years.

"Extending our footprint in the U.S. by establishing our brand in two key states like Illinois and Ohio is very exciting for us,” Manuel Stan, senior vice president of Kindred U.S., said in the new release. “We continue our journey in what we believe will become the largest gambling market in the world. Putting Illinois and Ohio on the list together with New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Iowa and Indiana, shows our commitment to establishing Unibet in the U.S.”

Illinois an Emerging Sports Betting Market

It’s a good time to enter the Illinois market, which is expected to be one of the strongest in the U.S. with Chicago the third-largest city in the country, passionate sports fans and, for now, in-person registration suspended.

”Illinois is one of the largest U.S. states and it will be the next state that we are targeting to launch," Stan said in the release .

BetRivers, DraftKings and FanDuel are live in Illinois, with FanDuel joining the market on Aug. 28 through an agreement with Boyd Gaming and its Par-A-Dice Casino in East Peoria.

Ohio still has a bit of work to do before it accepts its first legal sports bet, but it is making progress. HB 194 was approved by the House on May 28 and the Senate will consider its own sports betting bill this fall. The Senate bill, SB 111, has some differences from the House bill, including having another agency oversee sports betting.

Unibet Live in Indiana

Kindred Group said it will continue to invest in growing its U.S. operations where market conditions “support a sustainable business model.” Kindred will use the Pala Interactive online gaming platform and it will integrate with sports betting provider Kambi.

The Indiana Gaming Commission authorized the Unibet sportsbook to start offering mobile wagering July 30. Unibet has an agreement in the state through a partnership with the Horseshoe Hammond Casino in Hammond, just 30 miles from Chicago.

The Kindred Group, announced an agreement with Caesars Entertainment in February to give Unibet access to the sportsbook markets in Indiana and Iowa.

Unibet is partnered with Harrah’s Council Bluffs in Iowa, which is just across the Missouri River from well-populated Omaha, Nebraska.