Illinois In-Person Registration for New Sports Bettors Returns
In-person registration for new sports bettors in Illinois is back.
Gov. JB Pritzker has decided to not extend remote registration in Illinois. Nearly every month since he first issued an executive order on June 4, 2020, he has kept it in place because of the coronavirus and closure of casinos in the state.
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But with casinos having reopened, the in-person registration, as required by the state’s sports betting law, has returned. It was not included among the executive orders he reissued Friday. Remote registration ends Saturday at midnight per Pritzker’s last order. So new bettors wanting to bet on Monday’s NCAA Tournament championship game, or MLB or NBA, will have to go to a casino.
Illinois and Nevada are the only two states that require in-person registration. Rhode Island ended its requirement through legislation last year and Iowa’s requirement ended on Jan. 1. The law in Illinois required in-person registration for 18 months after the first online operator went live.
The executive order by Pritzker to allow remote registration — Executive Order 2020-41 — has helped Illinois see record sports betting handle and revenue. In January, the state reported a record $581.5 million in handle, of which $575.2 million was online, or 99%. Illinois has not reported its February figures.
Bad News for New Sportsbooks
The Barstool Sportsbook went live in Illinois on March 11, just in time for March Madness, although bettors are unable to bet on Illinois colleges because it is prohibited by state law. Illinois is the third state for Barstool after the company previously launched in Pennsylvania and Michigan.
With Barstool live, there are six online sportsbooks in Illinois. But now bettors will have to register at one of the three casinos with a Barstool retail sportsbook.
The state soon should have a seventh online wagering option as Score Media and Gaming Inc. announced on March 29 that it has secured market access to offer mobile sports betting in Illinois. Illinois is the fifth state where theScore Bet would be live. The app is available in New Jersey, Colorado, Indiana and Iowa.
But with in-person registration back, Illinois will likely see a decline in sports betting.
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