From today, Illinois bettors will not be able to register online betting accounts remotely.
On Friday, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker issued a new Gubernational Disaster Proclamation and will no longer suspend the state’s in-person registration requirement
Pritzker reissued several executive orders on Friday but not the one that related to sports wagering in the state. This means that from today, bettors in the state of Illinois will be required to register their online sports betting accounts in-person at one of the state’s casinos.
Illinois’ governor first lifted the requirement for the in-person registration of online sports betting accounts in the state on 8 June after the coronavirus pandemic forced the state’s casinos to close.
Casinos in the state of Illinois received permission to reopen to the public on 1 July at 50% capacity.
This news comes more than a week after DraftKings and FanDuel were both granted temporary operating permits.
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.
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.
Challenges to online sports betting in Illinois
While the suspension of in-person registration was in effect, BetRivers launched its online sports betting platform on 18 June through Rivers Casino des Plaines, making it the only online betting option in the state.
The suspension of the registration requirements saw FanDuel and DraftKings try to accelerate their efforts to launch sports betting operations in Illinois and circumvent the 18-month “penalty box” provision in the state’s sports betting law.
This provision stated that online-only operators could not submit a sports betting application for 540 days following the first license issued to a land-based operator. On 11 June, the state regulator issued seven Master Sports Wagering licenses, allowing those casino venues to request the commencement of online wagering.
Following the expiration of remote registration, online-only operators like FanDuel and DraftKings can use one of two methods to serve the state. The first option is to wait 18 months for the start of online sports wagering and then competitively bid for a $20m online license, or they can partner with an existing land-based casino and launch an app under the property’s brand.
DraftKings chose to partner with Casino Queen and rebranded the property as “DraftKings at Casino Queen” last week.
Sports betting in Illinois
In July 2019, 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.
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.