Illinois online sports betting may not require new bettors to register online sports betting accounts in-person much longer, as legislators may be looking to make a change with the controversial measure in the state.
News Channel 20 ABC journalist Matt Roy reported that Governor J.B. Pritzker’s decision to not renew an executive order that waives on-premise registration in the state has left several Illinois lawmakers confused with his reasoning.
Roy spoke with State Senator Steve McClure (R-Springfield) who expressed his confusion at Pritzker’s decision to require in-person registration when COVID-19 remains a troublesome issue for Illinois residents.
“We still aren’t out of the pandemic,” State Sen. Steve McClure, R-Springfield, said. “So, it just kind of leaves me scratching my head as to why you would let the executive order expire.”
In-Person Registration Requirement In Effect For Illinois Online Sports Betting
Gov. Pritzker has lifted the in-person requirement several times before the executive order’s expiration date, citing social distancing measures as well as logistical and operational concerns causes by COVID-19, but chose not to do so before this deadline.
His latest decision was just the latest twist in what has been an ongoing saga since the state first formally launched online sports betting last spirng.
Despite schools and businesses opening back up with increased access to vaccines available, COVID-19 cases had been steadily on the rise in Illinois prior to Pritzker’s announcement. Since the news broke of his decision on April 2, COVID-19 cases have risen every single day in Illinois, according to data supplied by the The New York Times.
Roy spoke with State Sen. Steve Stadelman, (D-Rockford), who said a discussion will eventually take place to decide on the latest fate of the in-person requirement. The bill likely would not have passed in 2019 without the in-person registration requirement, he noted, but online registration has become immensely popular and is likely the “wave of the future.”
“It’s worth having another discussion,” Stadelman said. “In light of what has happened this year during the pandemic and the fact that online registration has been in place already, I think it is worth having another discussion in Springfield.”
Illinois gambling laws reverted back to how they were pre-pandemic. So where can you register now for online betting? Why did they do it? Who does it help? Who does it hurt?
— Matt Roy (@MattRoy_TV) April 6, 2021
Roy did note new legislation may not be possible to reverse the in-person registration requirement this late in state’s legislative session.
New users looking to create an account will have to do so in-person at one of five brick-and-mortar casinos in the state. In the case of DraftKings Sportsbook Illinois’ app, DraftKings at Casino Queen Sportsbook. DraftKings at Casino Queen Sportsbook, bettors would need to drive to East St. Louis to activate an account. For those located in and around Chicago, that drive would potentially require a round trip of 8-10 hours.
The lack of an in-person requirement spurred the rapid growth of the sports betting market in Illinois. In September 2020, over 230,000 new mobile sports betting accounts were created, according to the Illinois Gaming Board.
DraftKings Sportsbook, William Hill, PointsBet, FanDuel and BetRivers all currently operate online sportsbooks in Illinois.