Illinois sports betting is expanding with mobile-only betting platforms. However, the price is hefty for operators that want to join the market. The applicants will have until December 3, 2021, and once approved, it will cost $20 million for a permit, with a renewal fee being issued every four years.
Widespread mobile-only sports betting coming to Illinois
It has been over a year since Illinois legalized sports betting. The state offers retail and mobile sports betting, but they are combined licenses, and rules are very strict. In-person betting is available at casinos throughout the state.
If people want to place a mobile wager, they must be within the vicinity of a licensed casino. The new mobile-only permits will be allowed to operate throughout Illinois. This will be great for bettors, but it will come at a major price tag.
The legislature has limited sports betting to three operators, so Illinois will be a lucrative venture for operators. The $20 million price tag is higher than most sports betting states in America. Illinois is a good market, but it does not have potential like New York, so there are concerns that operators will stay away from the application process.
Changes when mobile-only sports betting is issued
Gamblers in Illinois must register at a casino to place bets on the mobile sportsbooks. When mobile-only licenses are enacted, in-person registration will disappear in the state. The application window for operators will be 120 days and close on December 3.
State law also requires that the Illinois Gaming Board must announce which bidders are qualified within 48 hours of the deadline. Ninety days following the close of the application process, the Illinois Gaming Control Board can name its three applicants.
There have been two applications already submitted in Illinois. The licenses awarded will not be tethered, meaning they do not have an existing partnership with casinos, racetracks, or professional sports venues.
Possibilities for mobile-only operators
Illinois sports betting has done well despite the decline throughout the summer. In June, Illinois’ retail and online sportsbooks collected $476.5 million in wagers. This was down 6.1% from May when the total was over $507.3 million.
The hefty application process has limited the operators that will be able to apply. Sportsbooks that are just beginning in the United States will likely stray from Illinois because of the massive cost.
The contenders must be in the top-tier group of operators like DraftKings, FanDuel, and BetMGM. There is a belief that the strong handles will help spark mobile-only permits in the state.
With football season approaching, the state could be very prosperous for legal sports betting. The applicants for mobile-only sports betting will not be able to take advantage of the season. However, the $20 million makes this a long-term investment.
FanDuel and DraftKings are already live in the state. FanDuel has been the most dominant book in the state with online handles. The other books that are live in the state are BetRivers, PointsBet, Barstool Sportsbook, and Caesars Sportsbook.