The state of Illinois has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, and that has played a major role in the sports betting industry. Sports betting launched in Illinois just before the shutdown of major sports in the United States, and that has hurt the revenue of the state.
Sports betting rules in the state of Illinois are extremely strict, and they call for in-person registration at the casinos before playing at the online sportsbooks. Illinois Governor JB Pritzker recently made an announcement to suspend the in-person registration requirement for online sportsbooks.
There are seven different casinos that have been granted a sports betting license in Illinois, but all of those locations are currently shut down. Pritzker is hoping that by releasing the strict laws in Illinois, more residents will apply for a sports betting license and begin betting on sports.
Some of the top online sports betting operators have been shut out of Illinois due to the current rules, but Pritzker is hoping to change that. Even though this new declaration will not allow new operators to apply for a sports betting license, there is a chance that more casinos could begin taking bets.
Casinos can only reopen when Governor Pritzker allows them to do so, and that could be by the end of the summer. Pritzker has realized that he will have to make a change to current sports betting laws if the state is going to continue making money off of the industry.
The Illinois Gaming Board is in charge of the sports betting industry in Illinois, but this new order from Pritzker can overrule those rules. The IGB has been exploring new ideas to give the sports betting industry a boost, but Pritzker has decided to take matters into his own hands.
Sports arenas in the state of Illinois are also allowed to apply for a sports betting license, but none have done so to this date. It’s unclear what casinos will try to take advantage of this new ruling by the Governor, but sports bettors are expected to submit applications soon.
Illinois Losing Plenty of Tax Dollars
The state of Illinois has already lost millions of dollars to Iowa and Indiana, and the coronavirus pandemic has also had a huge impact. Iowa and Indiana both allow mobile sports betting, but that has not been the case in Illinois.
Illinois has set an 18-month rule for online sportsbook operators to begin taking bets in the state, and that has forced plenty of sports bettors to travel out of state to place their bets. Pritzker is hoping to allow more mobile sports betting in the state to bring in more revenue through taxes.
The Illinois Gaming Board is set to meet this week for the first time since January. The board will conduct a virtual meeting, but the meeting agenda has yet to be announced.
Residents are able to stream the meeting, and they can also submit questions or comments to the board before the meeting takes place.