Illinois Sports Betting Remote Registration Extended Again

Illinois Sports Betting Remote Registration Extended Again
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Gov. JB Pritzker on Friday extended remote registration, allowing Illinois sports bettors to sign up online.

Pritzker’s executive order would have ended Saturday. His extension of the order that suspended in-person registration because of the coronavirus pandemic will be in effect for the top Illinois sportsbooks at least until Oct. 17.

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There were about $52.5 million reasons for Pritzker to extend the order. That was the total sports betting handle for July, the first full month of legal sports betting in the state. And that was with professional sports sidelined and casinos limiting their capacity.

Of the $52.5 million, 92% of those bets in July were placed online, according to figures posted this week by the Illinois Gaming Board. The number of mobile bets placed likely doesn’t come close to 92% without the in-person requirement being suspended.

In addition, Illinois Gaming Board Administrator Marcus Fruchter said at the Thursday meeting of the IGB that about 230,000 sports bettors have registered online in the state.

The extension comes as the Cubs and White Sox wrap up their regular seasons and prepare for the MLB playoffs. The NFL is in Week 2 and the Bears play host to the New York Giants on Sunday after a thrilling win over the Detroit Lions in Week 1.

There are now five mobile sports betting apps live in Illinois. William Hill is the latest, going live on Tuesday. It joined BetRivers (June 4), DraftKings (Aug. 5), FanDuel (Aug. 28) and PointsBet, which went live on Sept. 12 in partnership with Hawthorne Race Track.

BetRivers, PointsBet and William Hill are close enough to Chicago to have bettors register at the casinos or horse track if the in-person registration requirement is reinstated at some point. FanDuel (about 140 miles) and DraftKings (about 300 miles) would likely not see much traffic from Chicago bettors if they had to register on-site.

The Original Order

The in-person requirement was originally suspended by Pritzker on June 4 because the 10 casinos in the state were closed out of concern over the coronavirus pandemic. This allowed sports bettors to register and place bets when as sports returned.

On July 26, when his original order expired, Pritzker decided not to extend executive order 2020-41.

On Aug. 21, Pritzker again allowed remote registration. That gave all five mobile sportsbooks a chance to sign up bettors before or during the NFL season.

And he again extended the order Friday.

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