Illinois Re-Opened Online Sportsbook Registrations
As of March 5, Illinois‘ sports bettors no longer needed to register in person at brick-and-mortar casinos to create online sports betting accounts. Online sports betting in Illinois has had a number of back-and-forth changes over the last 3 years, which can be partially attributable to the pandemic. During the last 2 years, new Illinois sports betting customers who wanted to open online sports betting accounts had to do so personally at one of the state’s five brick-and-mortar casinos.
To help with the state’s budgetary concerns at the time this initial in-person registration process was briefly suspended for just shy of a year due to COVID-19. Following in-person registration requirements being reinstated in April 2021, Gov. Jay Pritzker signed HB 3136 into law in December 2021. This settled March 5 as the date where mobile registration for online sports betting would be fully green-lit. When sports betting was allowed in June 2019, state law banned sports betting on in-state collegiate programs. The most recent legal changes also permit for restricted in-state collegiate bets to be placed exclusively in-person at retail sportsbooks. Online sportsbooks will continue to refuse bets on in-state colleges.
Any confusion or additional barriers to playing experienced by bettors by the continued changes did not seem to limit growth – the total amount wagered across the state was just shy of a staggering $9 billion. With the process of online sports betting (hopefully) permanently simplified for bettors, Illinois will likely experience even more growth in the sector. Now that March 5th has passed, many of the industry’s leading sportsbook companies have begun to accept online registrations, including DraftKings, FanDuel, Caesars Sportsbook, BetRivers, PointsBet, Barstool Sportsbook, and most recently BetMGM.
The state is expected to receive roughly $300 million in bets from the ongoing March Madness event. As of now, sportsbooks have earned about $651 million in income, producing $98 million in state tax income and an additional $7.3 million for Cook County. State Representative Mike Zalewski, a Democrat from Riverside who oversees sports betting policy, stated that “law continues to generate millions of dollars for new universities, schools and libraries for our citizens and with a fully integrated network, the numbers will only improve.” His statement leaves us hopeful that betting enthusiasts, sports fans and regular citizens in Illinois will enjoy a range of social and economic benefits on top of incredible betting opportunities!