Illinois Governor JB Pritzker has now extended the remote sports betting registration period for a fifth time, making the announcement on Friday. With COVID-19 cases growing throughout the state, it is likely that retail sportsbooks will be shut down yet again, or at least face strict health and safety protocols.
The initially expanded gaming law in Illinois called for in-person registration for 18 months after the first bet was placed. With retail locations shut down earlier this year, Pritzker was forced to step in and issue an executive order to amend this rule.
The initial order, Executive Order 2020-41, was issued on June 4 and there weren’t any mobile sports betting apps at that time. The current extension will last through December 12, but it could also be extended yet again before that date.
The city of Chicago has already issued a new stay-at-home order due to rising COVID-19 cases, and Cook County followed that up with one just a day later. Mobile sports betting has driven the Illinois industry since mid-summer, and Pritzker wants to keep those operators in business.
BetRivers was the first mobile app to launch in Illinois, doing so during June. DraftKings and FanDuel were the next to follow, and both operators have become huge players in the Illinois industry.
In September, both PointsBet and William Hill were able to launch a mobile sports betting app, giving bettors five different options. It is likely that it won’t be until at some point in 2021 that a new app is launched.
The only time that Governor Pritzker did not extend the order was on July 26, but less than a month later, he decided to change course. The Illinois mobile sports betting industry has seen tremendous numbers thanks to this executive order.
September Numbers Show Tremendous Growth
It takes the Illinois Gaming Board more than a full month to report on the sports betting numbers, but the September totals have finally been announced. Illinois sportsbooks brought in more than $305 million in sports betting handle during September, which more than doubled the August numbers.
The mobile sports betting handle was once again the leader, accounting for more than 92% of the entire total. The mobile betting handle was an increase of more than 128% from the August numbers as well.
DraftKings Sportsbook operates a mobile sportsbook in ten states, and it announced that Illinois was the second-largest market for the operator, with the first being New Jersey. New Jersey continues to set new industry records, and its total betting handle was more than $800 million in October.
BetRivers was once again the leader during September, bringing in more than 36% of the bets. The lead has started to shrink in a hurry as BetRivers accounted for 84% of the market share in August.
DraftKings Sportsbook brought in more than $98 million during September, and FanDuel was third on the list at $78.5 million. PointsBet and William Hill didn’t open until the month was almost half over, and they have plenty of catching up to do.