Illinois Betting registrations could change
Illinois casinos and retail sportsbooks have been shut down for the second time by Governor JB Pritzker, and that could cause some changes in the industry.
The entire gaming industry has suffered during the COVID-19 pandemic, and industry executives are hoping that lawmakers will make some changes to improve things going forward.
Currently, Illinois state law requires in-person registration when creating a sports betting account, but this is one area that could be changed. With retail sportsbooks and casinos closed for the foreseeable future, it could limit this industry’s growth.
Governor Pritzker has issued an executive order that waived the in-person registration requirement, and he has continued to extend that order. The mobile registration period will end again in December, but lawmakers could make a permanent change.
Pritzker can only extend the order for 30 days at a time, but the state legislature could remove the requirement when they meet again in 2021. IL Sportsbook operators are lobbying for this change, and it would likely lead to more operators entering the state.
When Pritzker issued his initial executive order, BetRivers immediately got things in place for a mobile launch. BetRivers took control of the market in the first month, but DraftKings and FanDuel entered the industry when Pritzker extended the order.
The reason for placing this in-person registration requirement in the sports betting law was to give the casinos in the state an edge. This was also put in place to keep online-only operators out of the state until at least 2022.
DraftKings and FanDuel were able to find a way around this law by partnering with a land-based casino and launching their IL sports betting apps. Now that casinos have been partnering with sportsbook operators, there is no advantage for these properties by having an in-person registration requirement.
Casinos Support iGaming As Well
Another change that casinos would like to see lawmakers pass is allowing online casino gambling. With the success of the online sports betting industry in the state, there is a chance to become a huge iGaming market as well.
The Illinois Casino Gaming Association is lobbying for lawmakers to revisit the expanded gambling law passed in 2019 and look to include iGaming as well. Allowing online gambling would serve as an insurance policy if casinos were ever forced to close their doors again for an extended period of time.
There are currently just four states that have legalized online gambling (Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia), and another is set to launch in 2021. Michigan legalized iGaming in 2019, and that industry could launch as soon as January.
All of these states have seen growth in that industry, especially in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. The Illinois Casino Gaming Association has pointed to Pennsylvania as what a potential industry would look like in Illinois.
The video gaming industry is expected to oppose any changes to the current legislation as that would take away revenue from these properties. Either way, this will be a topic of discussion in 2021 when the lawmakers reconvene.
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