Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker continues to bail out the online sports betting industry in the state, once again extending the mobile registration period.
Illinois gambling law requires in-person registration when creating a sports betting account, but that has hardly been the case since the summer of 2020.
Pritzker issued Executive Order 2020-41 on June 4 at a time when retail sportsbooks were shut down in the state due to COVID-19. The state of Illinois was counting on sports betting to bring in revenue to help it get through the pandemic, and it needed online sports betting options.
At that time, there weren’t any online sportsbooks in the state, but there are now five options available to begin 2021. Those five online sportsbooks are BetRivers, DraftKings, FanDuel, PointsBet, and William Hill.
The recent remote registration period was set to expire on Jan. 9. Pritzker once again got out ahead of things and has now extended online registration through Feb. 6.
There has been recent pressure on Illinois lawmakers to review the registration rules and requirements for sports betting, and that discussion could take place in the coming weeks. Casinos and retail sportsbooks were in favor of in-person registration, but it doesn’t appear to be a big advantage at this time.
Mobile Betting Leading Illinois Market
The total sports betting handle in the state of Illinois continues to rise, and the state has grown into one of the biggest markets in the United States. That trend is expected to continue into 2021, and mobile betting will continue to lead the way.
In October, total sports betting in Illinois climbed all the way up to $434.6 million, making it the fourth-largest market in the United States. Of that number, 94% of all wagers were made online or through a mobile device.
One reason for this is that casinos and retail sportsbooks are still operating under new guidelines and capacity restrictions in an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19. The biggest reason, though, is that online sports betting is extremely popular, and the remote registration period has allowed that.
Illinois is expected to get a handful of new online sportsbooks in 2021, and that will continue the growth in the market.
Iowa Also Makes Registration Change
Illinois isn’t the only state that has made a registration change to start the new year, as Iowa has done the same thing. Unlike Illinois, the registration requirements in Iowa have changed permanently, and it should help that market grow.
Iowa had an in-person registration requirement in place until Jan. 1 in an effort to help retail sportsbooks get off to a great start. That in-person registration requirement has now been dropped, and bettors are able to sign up for an account online and begin placing bets.
Illinois and Iowa both compete for customers along the border, but that is particularly the case in the Quad Cities. Bettors in these cities can now bounce back and forth between the states and sign up for an account online.