Illinois residents could soon place bets on their favorite in-state collegiate programs after the House of Representatives passed an amendment that would allow such betting for the next two years.
If approved and signed into law, state gamblers would be allowed to place in-state collegiate bets only in person at retail sportsbooks. However, bets on in-state colleges would not be able to be placed through online applications.
A state law has prohibited sports betting on in-state collegiate programs since sports betting was legalized in June 2019.
Sports betting on Illinois collegiate programs for 2 years
The amendment still needs approval from the Senate before it can be sent to Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) to be signed into law.
If signed into law, the amendment would run through July 1, 2023. Bets on Illinois collegiate programs would only be “tier 1” wagers and would be based on the final score or outcome of the event. Any bets on Illinois collegiate programs could not be based on an individual athlete’s performance.
The Illinois House of Representatives passed the amendment Tuesday morning a day after it was moved through committee.
Any potential movement on a change for the in-person online sports betting registration requirement has not yet been addressed by the House of Representatives.
Illinois Coming Off Big Sports Betting Month
Illinois had its biggest sports betting month by handle this past March, reporting record highs of $633.6 million. The Illinois Gaming Board reported the total sports betting handle for the month, the highest ever sports betting handle for Illinois and the third-highest handle in the country for March. The gaming board has not released sports betting handle totals yet for April or May.
However, don’t expect those numbers to maintain such a high level moving forward. The record high coincided with the final month Pritzker allowed for online registration of online sports betting accounts. On April 3, Pritzker chose not to renew an executive order that lifted the in-person registration requirement due to concerns over COVID-19 and social distancing measures.
Pritzker cited the executive order as no longer necessary, so new users must now travel to certain casinos to sign up for accounts with specific skins. For example, if a resident wanted to register for the DraftKings Sportsbook Illinois app, users would need to drive to the Casino Queen Sportsbook in East St. Louis to activate an account.
Illinois and Nevada are the only two states in the country with legalized sports betting that require in-person registration at a casino for a new online sports betting account. Nevada’s numerous casinos make in-person registration for residents an easier pill to swallow than Illinois residents who must register an account at one of only five brick-and-mortar casinos in the state.
The registration requirement will remain until it expires in late 2021 or early 2022.