New Illinois sports bettors will be able to continue to sign up to online sportsbooks remotely for at least another month, following State Governor J.B. Pritzker’s decision to extend the Remote Registration Order for special circumstances. It’s the fourth time that the Governor has extended the law to allow sports bettors to sign-up to an online sportsbook remotely (rather than in-house in a land-based casino under permanent state law) in the wake of the closures and current limited capacities of bricks-and-mortar casinos.
Online registration has proven to be quite a beneficial thing for the Illinois sports betting market and its gaggle of new online sportsbook operators. While in-person registration in land-based casinos is still a viable option for those players who prefer it and handy for the sports bettors of Chicago, the vast majority of sports bettors enjoy the convenience of being able to, and allowed to, legally register from wherever they like within the state’s borders on their mobile devices and phones.
It’s a common-sense decision that has as much to do with public health and providing much needed additional revenue to the state budget, as it does to keeping the state’s nascent sports betting industry afloat in difficult times.
Illinois shows potential to become a leading Sports Betting State
While the state is yet to report its September 2020 figures, the Illinois numbers are expected to go the roof on the back of the full suite of major U.S. professional sports plus college football available for wagering for the first month of fall.
Given that a number of online sportsbooks were added to the available Illinois line-up and the ongoing availability of remote registration could see a big number posted for September.
The William Hill online sports book went live on September 16 became the fifth betting site to go live in Illinois, joining Bet Rivers, DraftKings, FanDuel and as of their September 12 launch in the Land of Lincoln, PointsBet.
It’s estimated that as many as 350 000 sports bettors have taken advantage of the temporary remote registration laws since they first came into place on June 4.
Will the extensions continue to be a month-by-month affair?
With no end to the global pandemic in sight, and Illinoisans still asked to minimize travel and social distance as the number of infections begin to pick up again, it makes no sense to request of potential sports bettors to travel up and down the length of state of Illinois to register for the Land of Lincoln’s legal online sportsbooks.
It could be argued that a Governor Pritzker could free the state’s nascent sports betting industry to sign a law into effect that could allow the state’s bettors to place wagers from home. There seems to be some kind of faint hope that the pandemic can be overcome in the short term, and that the Illinois State Government can go back to its original ideas and course of action.
However, if the pandemic drags on, it may well force Governor Pritzker’s hand to sign the remote registration into law in Illinois on a permanent basis.
On the other hand, the current Remote Registration extension will expire on November 14. Three days later, the Illinois General Assembly meets for the state’s first veto session of the 2020/21 legislative season. If a permanent move is not addressed there, then another window for making Remote Registration a permanent law is also available in December.
Watch this space for the news to unfold further. We have a feeling that the Illinois law for Remote Registration is going to move to a permanent one sooner rather than later.