NHL Focuses on Canadian Hub Cities for Summer Reboot, DraftKings Gains IL Access

Written by:
Aaron Goldstein
Published on:

The NHL is looking to restart their season utilizing two hub cities in Canada: Edmonton and Toronto.

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Nothing is final until players vote on the return-to-play proposal, which is not expected to happen until later this week.  No target date is being offered though mandatory training camps are scheduled to begin July 10, the earliest, or July 13, the latest. The NHL will then resume with a 24-team tournament to award a Stanley Cup winner in 2020.

Las Vegas had long been the presumed favorite as a hub city for the NHL's return. In recent days, however, the league and its players became spooked by a spike of positive cases in Nevada as well as several other U.S. states. As of June 30, there have been 18,456 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Nevada with 507 deaths, with the state reporting its five highest days for coronavirus cases in the past week. 

The NHL initially hoped to pick one Canadian city and one American city for its hubs. But it is cheaper to stage games in Canada -- a minor victory for the league, which is projected to lose more than $1 billion if it cannot return to play at all in 2020. 

DraftKings has secured market access for Illinois thanks to new partnership with the Casino Queen property in East St. Louis.

The company said it was “looking forward to working with the Illinois Gaming Board and Casino Queen to bring our legal sports betting product to Illinois”.

Initially DraftKings and FanDuel were prohibited from entering the Illinois market for a period of two years.

BetRivers is currently the only online betting platform live in Illinois after it launched in June.

- Aaron Goldstein, Gambling911.com

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