Going back to school and going back to the office have both been put on hold for many Illinois residents and in the sports betting world folks are staying home too. That’s because Governor Pritzker has extended an order that allows for mobile sports betting registration until September 19th. Remote registration is an exception to the standard requirement of in-person registration, which has been derailed due to the ongoing pandemic.
The extension was made possible in large part by sportsbooks such as DraftKings. DraftKings recently activated another grassroots remote registration campaign in Illinois to help create awareness around the issue and help create a decision in their favor.
As stated earlier, remote registration wouldn’t be possible if it wasn’t for Governor Pritzker’s decision on June 4th, which lifted the regulation. It was a well-timed decision as professional sports in American were all getting ready to resume or start their seasons. The order wasn’t initially renewed but with the spread of COVID throughout Illinois the Governer once again reissued the directive on Friday.
Remote Sports Betting Registration in Illinois
When remote registration became official on June 4th only one sportsbook was able to take advantage of the temporary order – BetRivers. However, it was only a matter of days until online sportsbooks such as FanDuel and DraftKings were able to workout deals in the state to enter the Illinois sports betting market.
Because FanDuel and DraftKings create competition and lure many casual sports bettors due to their brand presence established through their fantasy game offering, others in Illinois such as Rush Street Interactive were calling for lawmakers to penalize them or prevent them from becoming legal sportsbook operators so quickly.
Both FanDuel and DraftKings were able to find local partners in order to avoid penalization and thus steer clear of being pushed out of the Illinois sports betting market. DraftKings partnered with Casino Queen and a rumored FanDuel partnership with Par-A-Dice Casino.
Update on Land-based Casinos in Illinois
Remote registration is certainly a good thing for both casinos and sports bettors, especially as residents of Illinois (and the country) continue to navigate the uncertain and difficult times because of COVID-19. That said, things are also trending in the right direction for the walk-in or land-based business casinos have to offer.
In March, Governor Pritzker issued a stay-at-home order, which caused all land-based casinos to close. While they aren’t open all the way, today, casinos are allowed to operate at 25% capacity. This small step towards a full reopening is good for folks who wish to register to sports bet in person (as well as play casino games) and it’s helpful for the casinos who have seen revenue declines due to pandemic.
It’s difficult to speculate when land-based casinos will be fully operational once again but the recent remote registration extension provides much-needed relief and accessibility through the rest of the summer, at the very least.