There are still just five sportsbook apps available in Illinois, but that could change soon. Penn National Gaming is targeting Illinois, and the Barstool Sportsbook app should be available within weeks.
Penn National has not announced a specific launch date for the Barstool Sportsbook app, but it should be live before the start of the 2021 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. Unibet Sportsbook also plans to launch in Illinois, but it is unclear if that will take place before or after Barstool.
The Barstool Sportsbook app is currently available in Michigan and Pennsylvania and should be a popular option in Illinois when it is available. Notable Barstool Sports personalities make regular social media features promoting the sportsbook and were on hand in Michigan when that site went live.
BetRivers, FanDuel, DraftKings, PointsBet, and William Hill remain the only betting options in Illinois, and a new sportsbook has not launched since September. Illinois continues to set new records for both handle and revenue, but a new betting option is needed.
Penn National has also announced that it plans to launch Barstool in a total of 10 states by the end of 2021.
Remote Registration Available
If Barstool can launch at the beginning of March, it could see a considerable boost as mobile registration is available through March 6. This date could be extended out even further, but that would be a decision made by Governor J.B. Pritzker.
Pritzker has extended his Executive Order to allow remote registration several times to boost online betting in the state. The first Executive Order came in June, and it has nearly been in effect every day since that time.
Retail sportsbooks in Illinois are back open, but they are all operating under strict health and safety protocols. Online sports betting remains the most popular option in Illinois, and remote registration has played a large role in that.
Lawmakers in Illinois have also discussed passing a new law that would remove the in-person registration requirement for good. This law was put in place to keep online-only operators out of Illinois, but sites such as DraftKings and FanDuel partnered with casinos to get around this issue.
Indiana, Iowa Providing Competition
Both Indiana and Iowa launched sports betting in 2019, well before it became a legal option in Illinois. However, it didn’t take long for Illinois to become a much bigger sports betting market, though that might not always remain the case.
Indiana and Iowa have both been seeing plenty of growth in the sports betting industry of late, and that will put plenty of pressure and competition on Illinois. These states both have more sportsbooks available, and crossing the border into these states is an option for Illinois bettors.
Iowa removed its in-person registration requirement on January 1, which allowed the state to shatter records for handle and revenue in January. Indiana has remained a strong market, and there is a real battle in the Chicagoland area for customers.