Governor J.B. Pritzker has extended the Illinois mobile registration period for sports betting customers. This is the third different time that Pritzker has allowed mobile registration as he is looking to jumpstart the sports betting industry in Illinois.
When Illinois passed an expanded gaming law last June, lawmakers required in-person registration for customers that were wishing to place mobile bets in Illinois. That law was in effect until June 2020, when Governor Pritzker made an executive order that removed these restrictions.
The sports betting industry in Illinois launched on March 9, 2020, just days before the COVID-19 pandemic shut down live sports in the United States. The ongoing pandemic also forced Pritzker to shut down the casinos, which also shut down the sports betting industry.
Illinois relies on revenue from the sports betting industry, and the governor removed the in-person registration for the first time this summer. His initial executive order expired at the end of July, but Pritzker has since extended that ruling a pair of times.
Other states throughout the country have seen a majority of sports betting done via mobile or online betting, and Illinois is hoping for the same results. It is unclear when the mobile registration period will end in Illinois, but it is encouraged that sports bettors get signed up as soon as possible.
Reason For Illinois Mobile Registration
The reason for the in-person registration requirement in Illinois was simple. Lawmakers were looking to punish both DraftKings and FanDuel by keeping these two companies out of the growing industry.
Illinois contends that these two companies were operating illegally in Illinois by allowing residents to participate in daily fantasy sports contests. Illinois had not legalized or regulated the DFS industry, and they wanted these two companies to restrict residents from playing at their sites.
DraftKings and FanDuel were placed in the “penalty box,” and they were not supposed to be able to launch a mobile sportsbook in the state for at least 18 months after launch date. Both companies were able to get around this ruling by partnering with a retail casino in the state.
BetRivers Now Has Competition
When Governor Pritzker first allowed Illinois mobile registration there weren’t any mobile sportsbooks up and running in the state. That quickly changed as Rivers Casino in Des Plaines was able to launch their BetRivers mobile app.
DraftKings was the second mobile app to launch in the state, and they were able to get its mobile app up and running during the initial mobile registration period. Those two sportsbooks seemed to have a stranglehold on the industry, but Governor Pritzker allowed for more mobile sportsbooks with his second executive order.
Since the beginning of August, FanDuel, PointsBet, and William Hill have all joined the mobile sports betting industry in Illinois. These are some of the biggest names in the sports betting industry, and it has created plenty of competition in the Illinois market.
If Illinois is going to become a leader in the sports betting industry, then the Illinois mobile registration period will need to remain open.
More Mobile Apps Coming?
The Illinois Gaming Board has been extremely slow when authorizing new sports betting licenses, and it is unclear when another sportsbook will be allowed to operate. There are some other big names that have expressed interest in launching a mobile app in Illinois, but it could be weeks or months away.
Barstool Sports and Penn National Gaming have teamed up, and they are reportedly looking to launch the Barstool Sportsbook app in Illinois at some point. Other operators are looking for casinos to partner with, but the operators are limited in options.
There will be additional mobile apps coming to sports bettors in Illinois, but it is unclear at this time as to which operator will be next to launch.