Illinois Sports Bettors Are Able To Register Online Again

Illinois Sports Bettors Are Able To Register Online Again
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Illinois sports bettors can again register online after Gov. JB Pritzker has rolled back in-person registration at casinos.

Pritzker on Aug. 21 reinstated the order that suspended in-person registration because of the coronavirus pandemic and it will be in effect until at least Sept. 19.

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It should greatly benefit DraftKings, which went live on Aug. 5 at the DraftKings at Casino Queen. The casino is in East St. Louis, across the Mississippi River from St. Louis and about 300 miles from richly populated Chicago.

DraftKings said it would be offering a boost on the White Sox-Cubs game Saturday night. It boosted both sides to 100/1 (bet $1 to win $100).

BetRivers at the Rivers Casino in Des Plaines took the first mobile sports bet in the state on June 18. It’s located about 20 miles from Chicago.

Two new sportsbooks opened Thursday in Illinois at Hollywood Aurora and Hollywood Joliet casinos, both owned by Penn National Gaming. They are the fifth and sixth retail sportsbooks in the state. The Argosy Casino Alton and the Grand Victoria Casino, which has a William Hill sportsbook, are the other retail sportsbooks in the state.

Rivers Casino took the first retail sports bet on March 9 and Argosy followed on March 12, but both were closed days later because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Original Order Wasn’t Extended

Pritzker had suspended the in-person requirement on June 4 because the 10 casinos in the state were closed in mid-March due to the coronavirus pandemic. This allowed sports bettors to register and place bets when some sports returned in June.

The original order ended on July 26 when Pritzker did not extend executive order 2020-41.

Executive order 2020-52 reinstated the original order on Aug. 21.

This comes at a time when Illinois, potentially one of the strongest sports betting markets in the country because of the population of Chicago and the city’s sports fans, is facing budget deficits.

Casinos in Illinois made just over $82.6 million in revenue for July, their first full month since reopening on July 1. The 10 casinos had a total of nearly 500,000 admissions for the month while while under a state mandate to operate at 50% capacity.

More Betting Options In Illinois

Suspending the in-person requirement is clearly a step in the right direction for the Illinois gaming market, which should see more options enter soon.

PointsBet, through its partnership with Hawthorne Race Track, is also expected to launch soon as the company has prioritized going live in Illinois and Colorado.

FanDuel has not announced how it will enter the market but will certainly look to do so soon. It has options through an agreement with Boyd Gaming, which owns the Par-A-Dice Casino in East Peoria. There had also been reports earlier in the year that it was looking to partner or purchase Fairmont Park racetrack in Collinsville.

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