Will Iowa’s new remote registration law hurt Illinois?
The Iowa sports betting industry is about to receive a huge boost on Jan. 1 as the in-person registration requirements will be lifted.
This has been a law since sports betting in Iowa was legalized back in 2019, and it has kept the state from really taking off.
Now that sports betting customers can register for an account without visiting a retail sportsbook, business is expected to take off. This will also allow sports bettors to sign up for more accounts rather than sticking with the retail sportsbook closest to them.
There are a number of great online sportsbooks in the state of Iowa, and the competition is expected to heat up. Online sportsbooks are expected to offer a number of promotions to begin the new year to help become more attractive to customers.
Iowa might have been one of the first states to launch online betting in the Midwest, but it has been passed up by other states. The in-person registration requirement has held the market back, but that will no longer be the case.
The biggest question facing Illinois is how will this new law affect the surging sports betting market in the Land of Lincoln. Illinois and Iowa share a border in the Quad Cities, and that is where a number of sports bettors are located.
Now that Iowa has remote registration in place, residents of Illinois can hop across the border to place bets without ever having to visit a retail sportsbook or casino. Iowa still has a long way to go to match the sports betting numbers from Illinois, but this new law should help.
Time For Illinois Lawmakers to Act
This could also force the hand of Illinois lawmakers in 2021 as Illinois will not want to lose the sports betting revenue that it has been bringing in. Illinois has quickly emerged as a top US sports betting market, and remote registration has helped that cause.
The problem is that Illinois also has an in-person registration requirement in place, and that law isn’t going away until at least 18 months after the first bet was placed. In-person registration will be a requirement until at least 2022 unless new legislation is passed.
Governor JB Pritzker has issued an Executive Order to waive the in-person registration requirement due to COVID-19. That order has actually been extended several times, and remote registration is allowed heading into January 2021.
This executive order was issued as a way to urge online sportsbooks to launch in Illinois and kickstart the industry. Most retail sportsbooks have been shut down for the majority of 2020 as the state has some extreme restrictions to help fight the pandemic.
It is likely that Pritzker will stop extending this order at some point, and a new rule will need to be in effect for the remote registration to continue. Both Iowa and Indiana now allow for remote registration, and Illinois will need to keep up.
Total sports betting handle in Illinois for the month of October was over $434.6 million.
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