Online sports betting is back in Illinois.
In a surprise Friday afternoon news drop, Governor J.B. Pritzker has re-signed an executive order, allowing users in Illinois to sign-up for sports betting accounts and place wagers without having to visit a casino in person.
DraftKings and BetRivers are the two sportsbooks that are live with online registration. The Action Network has confirmed you can place a bet at DraftKings in Illinois without having to go into a casino.
The new EO is here.
* Vegas Slots Online…
During the height of the pandemic, casinos were shut across the state, meaning that bettors could not physically visit such facilities to set up an online sports wagering account. As a result, remote registration was allowed from June 4 until it was brought to an end by the governor on July 26.
The Sports Wagering Act that was signed by Gov. Pritzker in July 2019 states that players have to register in-person for an online sports betting account during the first 18 months of the legal market being live.
Having launched its online sports betting offering in Illinois early August, DraftKings looks set to take advantage of the return of remote registration. It has since announced on Twitter that it is now accepting remote registrations from the state’s residents
While in-person registration would have significantly benefited online sportsbooks partnered with physical outlets in the Chicago metropolitan area, such as PointsBet, others including DraftKings, in more remote locations, faced having access to customers significantly reduced.
However, at a time when rising numbers of Covid-19 cases have prompted new restrictions on opening hours in the Metro East region of Illinois – covering DraftKings’ sportsbook at Casino Queen in the Greater St. Louis area – players will once again be able to register online.
The state’s sports betting market went live on 9 March, days before Covid-19 shut down sporting events around the world.
Per the Sports Wagering Act signed into law by Pritzker in July 2019, licensees must have players register in-person for the first 18 months of operation.
* Legal Sports Report…
• Rivers Casino outside of Chicago was one of the forces behind the in-person requirement in Illinois law, but will still try to take advantage of remote registration.
• PointsBet was hoping physical sportsbooks near Chicago would help its early push, but that advantage could have gone up in smoke if the order stays in place for any amount of time.
• FanDuel has plans to launch its online sportsbook in Illinois, but the timeline for that wasn’t clear. This may quicken the company’s pace.
• Hollywood Casino sportsbooks have launched, but an online version branded for Barstool Sports isn’t expected until Q1 of 2021.
…Adding… From Jordan Abudayyeh…
As the state imposes stricter mitigations to combat the spread of COVID-19, the administration has reinstituted online sports betting through the Governor’s emergency powers. Increased mitigation measures are impacting the capacity limits and hours of operation at casinos in regions seeing higher rates of the virus and online sports betting allows for an even playing field across the industry.