Danville casino still waiting to get approval for sportsbook

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DANVILLE — Two weeks — and two Bears losses — into the NFL season, a major draw of the new Golden Nugget Danville is still missing.

Despite assurances from casino officials in March that the sportsbook would be open in time for kickoff of the NFL season — if not sooner — the facility is still awaiting approval from the state, General Manager Juris Basens said Monday.

Basens said the sportsbook “is still in the licensing process.” When it might be approved, he couldn’t say.

“It’s almost a separate and unique license from your gaming license,” he said.

While wagering on pro and college games is legal online statewide, betting in person requires physically visiting a licensed sportsbook.

In Illinois, the closest physical sportsbook to the Champaign-Urbana-Danville area right now is the FanDuel Par-A-Dice Sportsbook in East Peoria.

As for the casino itself, business is good, Basens said.

“Like everybody else in the world, we’re searching for employees every day,” he said. “We get close (to being at full capacity) and then we lose some people who decide (that type of work) is not for them.”

The casino is operating on a full schedule — 20 hours a day.

“We have enough employees to stay open, but we could use more,” Basens said.

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