Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker has done it again, extending the mobile registration period through January 9th. The order was set to expire on Saturday, but the online sports betting industry will once again be receiving a life-line.
When Illinois lawmakers passed a sports betting bill in May 2019, mobile registration was required until at least 18 months after the first bet was placed. That remained in effect until June when Pritzker issued Executive Order 2020-41.
Initially, there were no online sportsbooks available in Illinois when Pritzker first issued this order on June 4th. That first order expired on July 26th, and the governor decided not to extend it at that time.
As the state continued to look for more revenue sources, the mobile registration order was reinstated on August 21st. There are five mobile sportsbooks in Illinois, and online betting is carrying the market in the state.
Lawmakers in Illinois are expected to re-visit the in-person registration requirement when they meet in 2021.
Tier 3 Restrictions in Place
As COVID-19 cases continued to rise throughout the state of Illinois, Governor Pritzker announced Tier 3 restrictions just before the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. All gaming facilities and casinos had to shut down on November 20th, and it doesn’t appear that they will be opening anytime soon.
Other non-essential businesses were forced to limit capacity, and that list includes fitness centers and restaurants. Residents have been encouraged to work from home as the state tries to stop the spread.
On Friday, 9,420 new COVID-19 cases were confirmed in the state, and 190 people died from the disease. Illinois has taken strict measures to stop the spread since March, but the numbers continue to trend in the wrong direction.
October Numbers Not Yet Available
The Illinois Gaming Board is the last in the US industry to release sports betting numbers, and they are more than a month behind. The October sports betting numbers have not yet been announced, while other states have already begun releasing November numbers.
The October numbers are expected to be a new record for the state, and it should push the US industry over the $3 billion in total handle for the first time. Total handle in September was $305 million, and Illinois just needs to come within $100 million of those numbers to give the US industry a new record.
In September, Illinois was fourth in the United States, and they are expected to remain in that position when the October numbers are finally unveiled.
Another Sportsbook is Coming
The Illinois sports betting industry is set to get another boost soon as another major player enters the market. Golden Nugget Online Gaming is coming to Illinois at some point, although an official launch date has not yet been announced.
Golden Nugget was able to reach an agreement with Danville Development LLC, giving them market access in Illinois. That operator will also be offering casino betting and retail sports betting at Danville when that property is built.