DraftKings at Casino Queen Announces $10 Million Expansion Project


Work has started on an expansion project at the DraftKings at Casino Queen in East St. Louis, Ill., according to a statement from the casino released on Tuesday.

DraftKings Casino Queen expansionDraftKings Casino Queen expansion
The DraftKings at Casino Queen is undergoing a $10 million expansion that will include an upgraded sportsbook and dining options at the East St. Louis, Ill., casino. (Image: Christian Gooden/St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

The $10 million project includes a new sportsbook, along with dining options. A promenade will feature a food court with three fast-food offerings, as well as a full-service restaurant.

The project is expected to be completed within six months.

At 30,000 square feet, the expansion will serve as a significant addition to the facility. The casino itself encompasses 38,000 square feet, with nearly 1,000 slot machines and 29 table games.

Casino officials said the expansion, which will be located just “steps away” from the casino, will feature a DraftKings retail sportsbook designed to be an attraction, with lounge-style seating and large high-definition televisions.

The full-service restaurant will offer breakfast, lunch, and dinner options, along with a bar.

JCJ Architecture is DraftKings at Casino Queen’s design partner on the project. The firm’s work in gaming includes Resorts World New York City, Resorts World Catskills, the Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs, Seneca Niagara, and Seneca Allegany.

Sports Betting Behind Expansion

Terry Downey, president and CEO of Casino Queen Holding, Inc., said sports betting helped push the expansion.

Sports wagering has greatly elevated Illinois gaming, and we are creating an environment at DraftKings at Casino Queen to capture that excitement,” Downey said in a statement. “Through our partnership with DraftKings, a cutting-edge sportsbook, and exceptional new dining experiences, we will soon offer a gaming destination that is unmatched in this region.”

Originally established as the Casino Queen in 1993, the official name changed last July to incorporate the casino’s sports betting partner into the branding. That was necessary because of the expanded gaming law Illinois lawmakers passed in 2019. That requires licensees to offer mobile sports wagering under the casino’s brand.

Fairmont Park in nearby Collinsville made a similar move, as the track rebranded itself to FanDuel Sportsbook and Horse Racing.

Latest Move for Casino Queen Holdings

The expansion is just the latest investment made by Casino Queen Holding.

In December, the company bought two casinos in Baton Rouge, La. On Dec. 1, it agreed to purchase the Belle of Baton Rouge from Caesars Entertainment. In that deal, Casino Queen bought the gaming assets and operations, as Gaming and Leisure Properties Inc. (GLPI) maintained ownership of the real estate.

Two weeks later, Casino Queen purchased the operations of Hollywood Casino Baton Rouge from GLPI. In exchange, Casino Queen agreed to lease the Hollywood Casino Baton Rouge and DraftKings at Casino Queen from GLPI for 15 years, with four five-year optional extensions.

The holdings company also owns Casino Queen Marquette in Iowa.

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