The Illinois Senate could soon consider an amendment to a bill that sets an expiration date for the much-maligned in-person registration requirement for Illinois online sports betting accounts.
A Senate Executive Committee has sent HB 3136, and Senate Amendment 2, to the full Senate for consideration. The bill, and the accompanying amendment, has several implications on Illinois sports betting.
If the bill and Senate Amendment 2 is approved by the Senate, House and signed by Gov. J.B. Pritzker, it would immediately become law.
In-person, online sports betting account registration finished in 2022?
Senate Amendment 2 contains language that sets an expiration date for the requirement that Illinois state bettors register in-person for an online sports betting account. As the law currently stands, new users looking to create an account have to do so in-person at one of five brick-and-mortar casinos in the state. If a user wants to register an account with DraftKings, they must do so at the DraftKings sportsbook at Casino Queen Sportsbook.
If the amendment is approved, the requirement would end on March 5, 2022. As the law currently stands, the in-person requirement would also expire if an online sports betting license is awarded to a qualified applicant. However, an online sports betting license costs $20 million, which also requires a $1 million annual renewal fee, so it’s unlikely any applicants will bid for a license.
The cost of a typical Illinois sports betting license may not exceed $10 million, according to the Illinois Gaming Board.
Collegiate sports betting on the horizon?
Senate Amendment 2 also includes a clause that would allow limited 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.
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.
Chicago Sky seeking sports betting license
The bill also includes language to allow Chicago’s WNBA franchise, the Chicago Sky, the ability to apply for a sports betting license. The Sky were not initially included in the Illinois sports betting bill that allowed the state’s professional sports franchises the ability to purchase a license.
The bill includes language that would allow WinTrust Arena, the home of the Sky, to apply for the purchase of a sports betting license.