SportsHandle and friends deliver another round-up of the week’s big developments in US sports betting.

PointsBet Sportsbook Poised To Launch In Illinois Ahead Of NFL Season

Illinois sports bettors may well have a fourth option for mobile sports betting by the time the NFL kicks off next Thursday, as the Illinois Gaming Board has confirmed that Hawthorne Race Course, which partners with PointsBet, filed its request to commence wagering on Aug. 27.

The IGB has estimated that it takes two-three weeks to approve such requests, however, approval came quicker for FanDuel, the most recent operator to go live online in the state. FanDuel partner Par-A-Dice Casino filed its request on Aug. 19 and FanDuel launched its platform Aug. 28.

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Michael Jordan Takes More Formal Interest In Gambling, Becomes ‘Special Advisor’ To DraftKings

Basketball icon Michael Jordan has joined sports betting and daily fantasy sports powerhouse DraftKings as a “special advisor to the company’s board of directors,” the Boston-based gaming operator announced on Wednesday morning.

In the midst of the most high-profile year Jordan has enjoyed since his playing days ended in 2003, powered by the documentary series The Last Dance that drew record ratings for ESPN, the six-time NBA champion has taken an equity interest in DraftKings and will provide strategic advice as DK continues to expand its legal offerings into more states.

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Kentucky Derby In September? NJ Tracks Adjust In COVID-19 Year

The Run For The Roses has been delayed from May until this Saturday — and New Jersey’s racetracks have had to restart their engines accordingly.

The Meadowlands Racetrack is opening its doors at 9 a.m., with the first race at Churchill Downs off two hours later. The Kentucky Derby race itself has a post time of 7:01 p.m., with live harness racing at the East Rutherford track beginning at 7:15 p.m.

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Sports Betting Still Contentious In Connecticut

Since the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act fell in 2018, Connecticut lawmakers have been eager to legalize sports betting — they’ve held multiple hearings, filed varying bills and tried to bring stakeholders face-to-face to find a compromise. But with COVID-19 causing economic upheaval across the country, legal sports betting with statewide mobile options popping up around the Northeast, and the legislature now out of session, compromise seems unlikely in the near future.

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FanDuel Expanding Into The Desert? Sports Betting Deal With Phoenix Suns In The Works

Multiple industry sources confirm that FanDuel is close to a deal with the Phoenix Suns to become the organization’s sportsbook partner. That would make FanDuel the first national sports betting operator to announce a deal with an Arizona professional team, and suggests that when state lawmakers reconvene in 2021, they will not only consider sports betting, but that any proposal will look considerably different than previous renditions. In addition, the deal points to the possibility that Arizona lawmakers will try to legalize sports betting at professional sports arenas and online/mobile.

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