There’s good news on the Illinois online sports betting front. Last week, Governor J.B. Prizker once again extended the state’s temporary lifting of the in-person mobile registration requirement.
The news comes as the latest development in a series of twists and turns in the state’s legal online sports betting operation since it officially launched last spring when BetRivers first went live.
The latest extension extends Executive Order 2020-41, which was most recently set to expire over the weekend, through at least Nov. 14.
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It remains to be seen what Pritzker will do at the end of this current extension period, though with COVID-19 numbers continuing to surge across the country, and particularly in Illinois, there’s a good chance the order could be extended yet again.
Initially, IL sports betting law required all new online and mobile sportsbook users to complete the registration process at a physical casino or sportsbook location. However, citing social distancing measures, the state lifted the requirement in June, temporarily paving the way for convenient online signups through late July.
The in-person element returned for a nearly a month before it was again lifted on Aug. 21.
DraftKings and FanDuel Boosted in Illinois
Tthis was a welcomed development for DraftKings Sportsbook in Illinois. With the in-person requirement in place, bettors needed to drive to the physical DraftKings at Casino Queen Sportsbook location in East St. Louis. For much of the state’s population, including those in the Chicago-area, the requirement meant a four-plus hour drive to complete registration. It also meant that far fewer bettors would sign up.
That’s why FanDuel Sportsbook, with its FanDuel Par-A-Dice Sportsbook, and DraftKings have both been aggressive proponents of doing away with the in-person requirement.
That being said, it remains possible that the in-person registration requirement could be permanently overturned.
Frankly, if the state is interested in legal online sports betting reaching its full potential, and, in turn, maximizing potential revenues, it will ultimately go this route.
Illinois Online Sports Betting Booming
The state has yet to release its September figures, but given the encouraging $140 million in total handle it generated during August, the numbers are expected to be staggering. Keep in mind the in-person requirement was largely in place in August and big time players such as FanDuel and DraftKings didn’t enter the market until the end of the month.
In September, PointsBet and William Hill joined amid the start of the NFL regular season and during the NHL, NBA, and MLB playoffs. In other words, it was a perfect storm for sports betting in a new market – one that is expected to generate more momentum in the months ahead.
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