The sports betting industry in Illinois was dealt a tough blow over the weekend. Governor J.B. Pritzker failed to extend Executive Order 2020-41, which allowed for mobile registration on sportsbooks. This decision by Pritzker will likely kill all the momentum that Illinois has built in sports betting, severely impacting sports bettors.
In-Person sports betting registration has returned to Illinois. The Executive Order was the rule that was initially in place when the industry launched. Pritzker was looking to give the state a jumpstart in June, and he did so by allowing remote registrations.
At the time that remote registration was first authorized by Pritzker, there were no online sports betting options in the state. There are now six online sportsbooks in Illinois, and there was hope that more would be coming by the end of 2021.
Illinois had quickly become a leader in the US sports betting scene. But this defeat could allow other states to catch up, or even surpass the state. In January, Illinois was the fourth-largest sports betting market, almost succeeding Pennsylvania.
Illinois is a state that is in desperate need of new revenue sources. Sports betting was providing the state with much-needed funds. It seems strange that Pritzker would be willing to give up on this revenue, and allow the rule to go back to what it was originally.
This rule was put in place to keep companies such as DraftKings and FanDuel out of the state. But those are now two of the biggest operators in Illinois. The original law had in-person registration in place for at least 18 months after the first bet was made.
Remote registration was working well in Illinois. It will be interesting to see just how much of an impact its removal has moving forward.
What It Means For Illinois Bettors
Not only is this a huge blow to the overall sports betting market in the Land of Lincoln, but this rule change will have a big impact on bettors as well. Anyone wanting to begin betting on sports will now have to visit a casino or retail sportsbook to complete the registration process.
Bettors throughout the United States have shown that they are unwilling to do so. States without remote registration have struggled to get going. This could also be a huge problem in Illinois as the city of Chicago is not home to any casinos or sportsbooks.
PointsBet Sportsbook has launched a retail sportsbook in the Chicagoland area. But, it’s not actually in the city. The Indiana border is closer for some bettors, and they could simply choose to travel to the Hoosier State to make an online wager.
This new registration rule will have an even bigger impact if a new online sportsbook launches in the state of Illinois. A new online sports betting app will likely struggle to attract new customers. It could also mean that some operators look elsewhere until remote registration is back in place.