It’s not a given, but the requirement to register an Illinois online sports betting account in person may soon no longer be necessary.
The Illinois Gaming Board (IGB) recently published applications for three potential online only sports betting licenses for the state. If one is awarded to a qualified applicant, the in-person sports wagering account registration requirement will be lifted, the gaming board noted.
The application period for a license will end on Dec. 3, 2021, and no bids will be accepted after that date. The IGB will determine if applicants are qualified and meet certain minimum standards under the Illinois Sports Wagering Act.
$20 million Fee for Illinois Online Sports Betting?
The IGB must identify three winning bidders within 90 days of its public announcement of the qualified bids. A winning bidder must then pay a $20 million license fee, which also requires a $1 million annual renewal fee.
The cost of a typical Illinois sports betting license may not exceed $10 million, according to the IGB.
This would put the end of the in-person sports betting account registration requirement within the first half of 2022.
That is, of course, if an Illinois online sports betting license is actually awarded. A winning company would theoretically be paying $20 million to put an end to in-person registration requirement in a state where DraftKings and FanDuel already purchased sports betting licenses for $10 million.
Sagging Illinois sports betting handle
Ultimately, such a development would be a boon for the state and its sportsbooks operators, as Illinois sports betting handle has dropped every single month since March’s high watermark of $633.6 million.
The Illinois Gaming Board reported $536.6 million in total sports betting handle for April, $506.3 million in May, and, most recently, $476.5 million in June.
Illinois ended June with the third-highest sports betting total in the country. It was second in both May and April.
- New Jersey: $767 million.
- Nevada: $545 million.
- Illinois: $476.5 million.
- Pennsylvania: $420 million.
- Michigan: $259 million.
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.
If in-person registration is permanently rescinded, the state’s sports betting handle would likely recover to totals similar to those when Gov. J.B. Pritzker suspended the registration requirement due to concerns about COVID-19.
The governor chose not to renew the executive order on April 3, citing it as no longer necessary. Pritzker had renewed the executive order several times prior, citing social distancing measures as well as logistical and operational concerns causes by COVID-19.