Time could be running out for those located in Illinois to register online for mobile sports betting.
In the most recent chapter in a saga of twists and turns that was written back in late July, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker lifted for a second time the state’s in-person mobile registration requirement. This move effectively spurred the rapid growth of the market which now has over 230,000 online mobile sign ups, according to the Illinois Gaming Board.
However, Pritzker’s executive order that lifted the in-person requirement is once again set to expire this Saturday, September 19.
If he elects not to extend the executive order beyond Saturday, September 19, it would mean time is extremely limited for those in Illinois who wish to sign up for new online sportsbooks without added hassle.
A Big Decision for Illinois Online Sports Betting
That’s because if the in-person registration requirement goes back into effect, those who want to register for a new app in IL will need to drive to its brick-and-mortar counterpart. 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. Of course, that is quite the trek, particularly for those located in and around the Chicago area.
The deadline sets up an interesting decision as the Illinois online sports betting market has been booming since the in-person requirement was once again waived, and while Illinois continues to offer retail sports betting options, both the number of wagers and total handle have overwhelmingly come from mobile apps. In short, if the in-person requirement goes back into place, the recent growth trends could be significantly stunted moving forward.
What Does It Mean?
Both times the in-person requirement was previously lifted, Pritzker cited social distancing measures as well as logistical and operational concerns caused by COVID-19. As the virus continues to remain a pressing issue in the state, Pritzker may very well decide to extend the order lifting of the in-person registration requirement beyond the initial September 19 deadline.
If he does, the Illinois market, which is now up to five total apps, figures to continue its rapid growth in the midst of the early weeks of a new NFL regular season. However, if Pritzker doesn’t extend it beyond this Saturday, prospective bettors who wish to register and use a new mobile sports betting app will have to physically drive to the retail location – or they can register between now and Saturday and skip the drive.
Best Illinois Online Sportsbook Apps
With the recent launches of PointsBet and William Hill, there are now five Illinois online sportsbook apps currently available to players.
DraftKings at Casino Queen Sportsbook
The DraftKings branded app figures to have the most to lose if the in-person requirement goes back into effect. That’s because the retail sportsbook is located in East St. Louis, which isn’t exactly one of the state’s most accessible locations.
William Hill is the latest online sportsbook to launch after it went live earlier this week.
Following its Sept. 11 launch, PointsBet Illinois quickly got out of the gate with an enticing $250 first deposit match and excellent promo offers like the one this week on the Bears as an 89-point underdog against the Giants.
FanDuel Par-A-Dice Sportsbook
The FanDuel brand came to Illinois late last month with FanDuel Par-A-Dice Sportsbook and immediately became one of the most popular apps among IL players with its $1,000 risk-free first bet.
BetRivers was Illinois’ first and online sportsbook out of the gate when it launched back in June. After enjoying a successful launch thanks in part to being the lone IL sports betting app for over a month, it remains one of the leading sportsbooks in the state.