ALTON — The Argosy Casino Alton had been planning a grand opening for the St. Louis region's first sportsbook on Monday, with St. Louis Cardinals legend Ozzie Smith scheduled to be on hand to make a wager.
But the event, scheduled to preface the now-cancelled NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament, was postponed in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. And so the Argosy quietly opened on Thursday, instead — the area's first legal sports betting operation.
Following a 2018 U.S. Supreme Court ruling allowed for the expansion of sports betting beyond Nevada, Illinois passed gambling expansion legislation last year that included sports wagering. Illinois regulators issued Argosy Alton, owned by national casino chain Penn National Gaming, a license on Wednesday.
A spokesman for the Argosy said the casino was still open and there were still some sports to bet on: darts, boxing and mixed martial arts, among others.
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