Illinois Governor JB Pritzker decided not to renew an executive order allowing state sports fans to remotely register for access to digital betting options, meaning the registration requirement has now been reinstated. in original person.
Under the state’s gambling law, which Governor Pritzker signed in to in the summer of 2019, bettors must complete a registration process in person at a local casino before they can place bets on a mobile app.
However, the state’s top official resigned from that provision in June 2020 with Executive Order 2020-41, allowing Illinois residents open a betting account on their smartphones without having to visit a physical facility.
All casinos in the state were closed at the time the Covid-19 pandemic was at its first peak. Governor Pritzker let the order expire in July, but the reestablished in august following pressure from locally licensed gambling operators. The governor renewed the order nine times before last Friday when he left it out of his latest update of his ongoing disaster proclamation that contains measures aimed at curbing the spread of the coronavirus.
Therefore, the in-person registration requirement was reinstated on Sunday and bettors must now drive to a real casino to register with their preferred gambling app and bet with it.
The Executive Order was pivotal to the sports betting boom
A spokeswoman for Governor Pritzker said the state is “currently in phase four with vaccination rates rising rapidly and casinos across the state have reopened with safety guidelines, thus suspending gambling registration requirements. sports in person no longer necessary. ”
However, while vaccines have made good progress, new cases have also increased in Illinois over the past three weeks. And experts note that less than 18% of all state residents are fully immunized.
The temporary removal of the in-person registration requirement really helped the Illinois sports betting market recover quickly. The state’s first retail sportsbook opened its doors in March 2020, but only operated for a week before Governor Pritzker ordered the closure of the state’s ten casinos as part of a package of measures aimed at containing the coronavirus.
In the months after June, when in-person registration was first de-registered, five operators launched digital gambling services. A sixth joined them not long ago.
The state’s legal bookmakers, both land-based and online, collectively received nearly $ 2.5 billion in gambling between March 2020 and February 2021. Mobile betting accounted for approximately 96% of the volume.
It should also be noted that the state’s onshore gambling facilities remained closed between March and July and were then ordered to close again in mid-November. They reopened earlier this year at 50% capacity.
The return of in-person registration has rekindled concerns about the impact of the requirement on the growth of the local betting market.
Commenting on the matter, Representative Mike Zalewski, a key figure in the legalization of sports gambling in Illinois, said that “without the in-person registration requirement, sports betting would never have been legalized in 2019.”
However, he noted that strong income and management figures suggest that Illinois “It should have a robust and unfettered online marketplace” and that he hopes they can “continue to change the law and keep Illinois one of the most successful sports betting states in the country.”
Source: Pritzker Closes Book on Mobile Sports Betting Registration, Chicago Sun-Times, April 2, 2021