Illinois regulator grants DraftKings and FanDuel temporary betting permits

Two of the biggest names in the US sports betting market are set to enter the Illinois betting market.

According to the Illinois Gaming Board’s (IGB) website, the US sports betting giants DraftKings and FanDuel were both granted temporary operating permits on Friday.

This comes after the Australian sports betting operator, PointsBet, secured regulatory approval from the IGB.

Approved operators in Illinois

With the approvals of FanDuel and DraftKings, five sports betting entities that will serve the state as Management Services Providers have now received temporary operating permits.

Rush Street Interactive, which currently offers land-based sports betting at Rivers Casino’s BetRivers Sportsbook and online betting via the BetRivers sportsbook app, was awarded its sports betting permit in February.

Penn National Gaming, which operates the land-based sportsbook at The Argosy, received its betting permit in March.

The Argosy and Rivers Casino are currently the only two licensed land-based sportsbooks in Illinois, while BetRivers is the state’s only online sports betting option.

The market is expected to become more crowded at the end of the month after the IGB’s next meeting scheduled for 30 July.

Land-based partners still require approval

Although DraftKings, FanDuel and PointsBet have received their temporary permits, their land-based partners still need to obtain regulatory approval before they can launch operations.

DraftKings’s partner, Casino Queen, is one of seven casinos to have been issued a Master Sports Wagering License by the regulator. Although DraftKings’ partner has received a license, it has yet to be approved for sports wagering on the IGB’s website.

PointsBet, which secured entry into market via a deal with Hawthorne Racecourse, must also wait for the venue to receive a sports wagering licence.

FanDuel has yet to announce its land-based partner for operation in the state of Illinois.

Sports betting in Illinois

In July 2019, Governor J.B Pritzker signed Illinois’ gambling expansion bill into law, making Illinois the fifth state to legalize sports betting in 2019. As well as legalizing sports betting, the bill allowed for the launch of six new land-based casinos and a large casino venue in Chicago.

The Illinois sports betting market went live on 9 March with the launch of a BetRivers-branded sportsbook at Rivers Casino Des Plaines. However, the state’s land-based market was quickly suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic.

BetRivers also took the state’s first online sports bets last month via its Kambi-powered sports betting platform.

Under the state’s sports betting laws wagering on collegiate sporting events that are held in the state is prohibited. The sports leagues will also have the ability to place restrictions on certain types of bets in the state. The legislation also authorises the roll-out of slot machines at various racetracks and the O’Hare and Midway airports.

The state’s sports betting laws also require players to register online accounts in person before placing a bet within the first 18 months of the market’s launch.

However, last month, Pritzker signed an executive order which temporarily relaxed rules requiring people to register in-person. As a result of this, bettors in the state can register their online accounts remotely online.

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