Does Anyone Have $20 Million? Online-Only Sports Betting License Applications Now Available In Illinois

Written By Joe Boozell on August 6, 2021Last Updated on April 19, 2022
illinois mobile license application

Applications for three online-only sports betting licenses have been published by the Illinois Gaming Board( IGB ). Certificates cost$ 20 million each, and applications are due by Dec. 3.

Once the IGB issues a mobile-only license, in-person registration is over. If there are any applications, the IGB must announce whether or not there are qualified bidders. This would likely happen around Dec. 3.

Within 90 days after that, the IGB must determine the winning bidders. Then, the agency must complete individual investigations before issuing a license. If all goes according to plan, it would seem that in-person registration would end in the first half of 2022.

However, it’s unlikely that any operator will spend the$ 20 million required to obtain a mobile license.

Zalewski doesn’t anticipate people bidding for a mobile-only license.

Illinois House Rep. Michael J. Zalewski told Play Illinois in June that he doesn’t see anyone paying the hefty $20 million fee it would take to secure an online-only license. If that’s the case, the return of online registration could be delayed indefinitely. Zalewski said he is frequently asked by operators for the Illinois Legislature to lower the price.

A typical sports wagering license in the state may not exceed$10 million. The $10 million gap is significant, and the pool of prospective bidders is not the same as lawmakers thought it would be when they drafted the Sports Wagering Act.

Then, the mobile-only licenses were designed to be carrots for DraftKings and FanDuel to enter the Illinois market. Instead, DraftKings and FanDuel found loopholes, partnering with a casino and a racetrack to secure market access.

And with the COVID-19 pandemic causing Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker to suspend in-person registration for seven-plus months, DraftKings and FanDuel now have booming businesses in Illinois. And if they won’t bid for the mobile-only licenses, who will?

Beyond that, any bidder who pays the$ 20 million for a license will be greatly assisting DraftKings, FanDuel, Barstool, etc. One may understand why that might not be a compelling idea.

Having said that, Illinois currently ranks second or third in the US for sports betting solve on a monthly basis. Maybe someone will decide that the price tag of$ 20 million is worthwhile.

This will be the biggest story in Illinois sports betting over the next several months. Whether someone does or does not bid on the license will have a huge ripple effect in either direction.

Illinois handle beginning to be impacted by in-person membership?

While Illinois sports betting operators had an excellent June by revenue ($48.2 million), handle dipped to $476.5 million. That was the lowest figure since November 2020.

Website membership for Pritzker was discontinued in April. Therefore, Illinois was a few months away from being able to include rural customers in June. The Land of Lincoln may suddenly be catching up to the plan.

The condition is therefore motivated to Go back to registering electronically. One would have to assume that lowering the price tag is on the table if no one places a bid for the$ 20 million online licenses.

That may take time, of course. Additionally, it may cost Illinois activities punters money. image
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Boozell, Joe

Boozell, Joe has also been a college sports writer for since 2015. His work has also appeared in Bleacher Report, and Growing up, Boozell squared off against both Anthony Davis and Frank Kaminsky in the Chicagoland basketball scene … you can imagine how that went.

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