Online sports betting goes live in Illinois with BetRivers launch

Online and mobile sports betting has finally arrived in the state of Illinois.

Online sports betting went live in Illinois yesterday (18 June) with the launch of Rush Street Interactive’s (RSI) BetRivers online sportsbook.

This news comes after the Illinois Gaming Board (IGB) approved seven casinos in the state for Master Sports Wagering licenses.

The land-based BetRivers-branded sportsbook at Rivers Casino Des Plaines was also the first land-based sportsbook to accept sports bets in the state when the market went live on 9 March.

Now that Illinois has its first-ever online sportsbook, residents over the age of 21 can place a variety of sports bets via a computer or a mobile phone.

The BetRivers platform

The BetRivers online sports betting platform, which is powered by Kambi, went live at 10am central standard time yesterday.

Customers can register their betting accounts with the sportsbook remotely from anywhere within state lines, after Governor J.B. Pritzker signed an executive order to temporarily relax the state’s in-person registration rules on 4 June.

Under Illinois’ sports wagering laws players are required to create an online sports betting account in-person at one of the state’s land-based sportsbooks. However, due to the coronavirus pandemic, which forced the state’s land-based casinos to close, it has not been possible for customers to create accounts in person.

RSI president Richard Schwartz said: “We are excited to make history in bringing the first online sportsbook to sports fans in our home state just in time as American sports are coming back into action.

“While entertainment options are limited as we seek to minimise the spread of the virus, we are focused on providing sportsbook players with a high-quality on-line product with exciting sports betting options.

“We will have great customer service with fast pay-outs and an overall friendly approach that treats every player with honesty and care.”

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.

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

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