Unibet deal with Illinois, Ohio inked

Unibet has added Illinois and Ohio to its list of approved markets as the company aims to become a major player in US regulated sports betting.

Along with parent company Kindred, Unibet announced an agreement with Penn National Gaming to offer online casino and sports betting services there. Regulators still need to put their stamp on the deal, which may come first in Illinois which has approved betting.

Ohio is believed to be moving legislation this fall. The agreement will allow Unibet to work a deal via Hollywood Casino in Ohio and via Argosy Casino Alton in Illinois.

“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 VP of Kindred U.S., wrote in a press 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.”

The Malta-headquartered firm has been an international player in managing sports betting and online gambling services for decades. Their overseas brands include Stan James and 32Red, both major players in Europe.

Unibet launched in Indiana in July

Unibet’s march through the Midwest began in Indiana and Iowa earlier in 2020. That partnership was forged with Caesar’s Entertainment, which has land-based casinos in those states.

Adding Illinois and Ohio moves the company into major population centers where professional and college sports is huge business. They are also areas where sports betting was traditionally had a strong foothold, even before the Internet and regulation came along.

Unibet hopes to be the fifth online sportsbook to launch in Illinois. BetRivers, DraftKings, FanDuel and Pointsbet, fresh off a major announcement to partner with NBC Universal, are currently allowed to accept wagers.

How did Unibet deal with Illinois come about?