In-Person Registration Back in Illinois
The Illinois sports betting industry received some surprising and disappointing news last week from Governor J.B. Pritzker.
Pritzker announced that he would not be extending Executive Order 2020-41, and it will likely send the new industry in a downward trajectory. In-person registration had been scrapped several times in the past.
Executive Order 2020-41 replaced the in-person registration requirement with remote registration in an effort to give the Illinois sports betting industry a boost. Pritzker first issued this order last June, when there wasn’t even an online sports betting option available.
Now that Illinois has in-person registration back in effect, it joins the state of Nevada as the only two markets to require this. Nevada has seen very limited growth due to this rule, and it is going to impact the growth in Illinois as well.
Illinois has emerged as the fourth-largest sports betting market in the US, but this new rule change could help other states close the gap. Michigan and Virginia have emerged as real threats, and Illinois is making it easy on those states to overtake the Land of Lincoln.
Pritzker could issue a new Executive Order to allow for mobile registration at any time, but that is not expected in the next few months. Without some action from the Governor, in-person registration will be required at least until March 2022.
There has been a small push from lawmakers to change the registration requirements in the form of a new law, but that doesn’t appear likely either. April will be the first full month without remote registration, and those numbers will show how much of an impact this law is having on the market.
Might Delay New Sportsbook Options
The launch of Barstool Sportsbook in March was expected to be just one of many in the state of Illinois in 2021. Now that in-person registration is back in place in the Land of Lincoln, it might keep other operators from launching in the state.
There are three companies that are looking to offer online sports betting in the US, and that list includes BetMGM, theScore Bet, and Unibet. Sports bettors in the state always benefit from the launch of a new sportsbook, but that process could now be delayed.
These three companies are all looking to launch in other states as well in 2021, and Illinois no longer becomes a top priority. It will be hard for each sportsbook to attract new customers as most sports bettors are simply unwilling to travel to a casino to complete the sign-up process.
All three companies are still expected to launch in Illinois, but there might be a delay of several months for this to occur. This will be a huge benefit to the current sports betting apps already in the state, but the lack of new options will hurt the competitiveness that is in the state currently.
Illinois had all the momentum to become one of the biggest sports betting markets in the United States, but this new registration law is a massive blow.
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