After almost a year, mobile sports betting is officially underway in Illinois, although there is just one betting option currently available. BetRivers became the first online sports betting operator in Illinois on Thursday. Several more are expected to join the club over the next few months.
Sports betting officially launched in Illinois on March 9, just days before the sports world was shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic. Rivers Casino in Des Plaines was the first casino to offer sports betting, and it is the only one able to take any bets in currently.
Governor JB Pritzker announced that all casinos must shut down just days later in an effort to stop the spread of the virus, and the casinos remain closed today. This effectively shut down the sports betting industry in the state as retail sports betting was the only option.
Earlier this month, Pritzker issued an executive order that took away the in-person registration requirement to create a sports betting account. This gave new life to the sports betting industry, but there was still a major problem.
Customers were now allowed to sign up directly at an online sports betting site, but no such options existed in the state. That all changed on Thursday morning when Rivers Casino launched their popular mobile app, BetRivers.
First In Line
BetRivers operates in several other states around the country, and it was clear that they were going to be the first operator to launch. BetRivers began taking new customers at 10 am on Thursday, and they were offering some different ways to sign up.
The best way to sign up for a new sports betting account in Illinois is to visit the BetRivers.com website and follow the prompts. The website is full of useful information for sports bettors that will be entering the industry for the first time.
Android users can find a link to download the BetRivers app from the website, and there are step-by-step instructions included. Users with an iOS device will have to wait a little bit longer before a mobile app is unveiled for Apple devices.
Apple users can still sign up for an account on the site while they wait for the mobile app to be released.
The legal sports betting age in Illinois is 21 years of age, and customers must physically be within the state to place bets on sporting events. Customers outside of the state are eligible to sign up for a new account, but they will not be able to wager.
Even though BetRivers doesn’t currently have any competition in the state, the operator is still offering a great sign-up bonus. Customers can receive a 100 percent deposit match up to $250, with very low betting requirements.
The Illinois Gaming Board has been busy issuing sports betting licenses over the last few weeks, but no other online sports betting operators are ready to launch. Online only sports betting operators must wait at least 18 months before they can apply for a license.