Sports activities betting in Illinois: Cell registration not attainable with the most recent Pritzker order

Potential bettors watch out: For all sports fans in Illinois who don’t feel like heading to a casino and who have secured themselves an online sportsbook account for the past nine months, now is a good time to fire up the gambling -Apps.

For most of the COVID-19 pandemic, Governor JB Pritzker has waived a provision in state gambling law requiring bettors to personally log into a casino before they can place bets on the mobile apps that hold the vast majority of legal bets to lock .

But that will end on Sunday because it’s a precautionary measure that the governor’s office said “is no longer needed” – even as his public health team struggles to fend off a third wave of the virus.

Emerging industry analysts aren’t too pleased, saying they are “holding back” a fast-growing market in Illinois that has seen nearly $ 1.6 billion in wagering and tax revenue since the state first legal wagered days prior to the state’s launch Made nearly $ 28 million in the March 2020 shutdown of the coronavirus.

After the state’s 10 casinos closed and a huge hole in the state budget grew, Pritzker enacted an ordinance in June giving Illinois’ 10 new sportsbooks the go-ahead for customers to sign up for accounts using their phones.

The Illinois Legal Sports Betting Act, signed by Pritzker in 2019, was written with personal registration to give brick and mortar casinos a head start over online gambling giants like FanDuel and DraftKings, which previously operated in the state under dubious legal circumstances.

But Pritzker’s pandemic command allowed the online sports betting industry – both the existing internet giants and new casino sports betting – to get off to a lucrative start in Illinois when professional athletes returned to the field last summer. More than 95% of the dollars previously staked in the state were spent online.

The governor added to his order in a series of updates to his ongoing statewide disaster declaration due to the virus, but skipped sports betting with the latest version coming into effect this weekend. That means it goes back to the personal registration.

“Illinois is currently in phase four and vaccination rates are rising rapidly. Casinos across the state have reopened with security policies in place so that the suspension of sports betting registration requirements is no longer required,” a governor spokeswoman said in an email Friday .

Illinois casinos are back at half capacity, while the state’s average infection rate has increased by two-thirds in the past three weeks. Not even 18% of the population are fully immunized.

State Representative Mike Zalewski, D-Riverside. Ashlee Rezin Garcia / Sun-Times

The personal requirement could give the Chicago area sports betting an edge at the Rivers Casino in Des Plaines and the Hawthorne Race Course, which also has two suburban off-track betting sites where sports bettors can register.

And it’s an immediate hurdle for large online pure businesses. Chicagoans have to drive all the way to Par-A-Dice Casino in East Peoria to sign up for FanDuel, or even on to Casino Queen in East St. Louis to sign up for DraftKings.

PlayUSA.com analyst Dustin Gouker called bringing back the requirement a “poor choice” as nationwide handles set new records every month.

“The reversal is now essentially holding back that growth and will artificially stifle online gaming in Illinois while it exists,” said Gouker.

Rep. Mike Zalewski, D-Riverside, who spearheaded sports betting legislation in 2019, suggested lawmakers could take another look at the controversial provision.

“It is important to remember that sports betting would never have been legalized in 2019 without the personal registration requirement, as this was a central aspect of an agreement between all parties,” Zalewski said in a text message. “That being said, the strong sales figures reflect that Illinois should have a resilient online market with no restrictions. I hope we can keep changing the law and make Illinois one of the most successful sports betting states in the country. “

Potential online bettors have until 11:59 p.m. on Saturday to log in from home or any other location using the Internet or a cell phone signal. After that, they have to go to a casino.

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