Churchill Down Incorporated has confirmed that its majority-owned Rivers Casino property in Des Plaines, Illinois, is to commence on-property sportsbook operations from today (Monday 9 March).

Following an official opening ceremony the home of the first brick-and-mortar sportsbook to be approved by the Illinois Gaming Board and become the first to accept a legal sports bet.

“The BetRivers sportsbook will take March Madness out of the office pool and into an exciting, elevated live sports wagering experience,” said Corey Wise, senior vice president and general manager of Rivers Casino

“We are grateful to the Illinois Gaming Board staff for their work approving our sportsbook in time for the college basketball tournament, one of the greatest sports events of the year.”

The BetRivers sportsbook features a 4,840 square sports bar with a 47-foot-wide ultra HD LED video wall, with five betting windows and a total of 30 sportsbook kiosks to also be included.

Furthermore, fans can enjoy ten 86-inch and four 75-inch HD televisions placed throughout the lounge offering patrons a panoramic view of live sports events. A full-service island bar in the space offers seating for 32, and the sportsbook also offers 26 bar-top video poker games, 29 leather lounge chairs and additional table seating options.

“Whether you are a seasoned sportsbook player or a casual sports fan interested in this new entertainment option, we’re dedicated to an environment where all customers will enjoy themselves in this great venue within our premier casino,” stated Greg Carlin, CEO and co-founder of Rush Street Gaming, a minority owner of the entity.

All parties also suggest that BetRivers will launch the site and mobile app later in the year.

“BetRivers sportsbook meets the high bar established by the team at Rivers Casino Des Plaines as one of the most successful and unique regional gaming destinations in the country,” said Bill Carstanjen, CEO of CDI. “We’re excited to add this top-flight amenity to what is already a premier destination.”