Opinion: In-Person Registration At DraftKings Reveals Mandate Was More About Punishment, Not Security

Written By Derek Helling on August 12, 2020Last Updated on August 16, 2020

Editor’s Note: The subsequent article expresses the author’s opinions.

When is in-person registration not essential for betting on website activities? Refer to the in-person registration model employed by DraftKings in Illinois for the answer to this query.

In truth, the necessity applies more to the location rather than face-to-face interactions. Although this isn’t a problem in itself, it shows that the provision’s role in Illinois law was designed solely to penalize daily fantasy sports operators online.

Special features of DraftKings in-person registration in Illinois

Unlike other states like Iowa (for now) and Nevada, bettors in Illinois don’t need to physically go to the financial gambling window at DraftKings at Casino Queen in East St. Louis to place their bets. The requirement for in-person registration in Iowa expires on New Year’s Day.

In Nevada and Iowa, bettors wishing to place bets electronically must first visit a physical sportsbook. For example, if you want to wager on the PointsBet online sportsbooks in Hawkeye State, you must first go to the physical sportsbook at Catfish Bend Casino in Burlington, Iowa.

A section of the casino staff will inspect your state ID for two reasons.

Firstly, it assists the sportsbook in verifying that you’re not on the state’s self-exclusion list.

Secondly, it verifies that you are of legal gambling age and at least 21 years old.

However, there is no valid reason why that procedure must be conducted face-to-face. Online sportsbooks effectively ensure compliance with all laws governing bettor eligibility on the internet. States where sports betting is legal, such as Pennsylvania and New Jersey, show that it’s a straightforward and efficient process.

DraftKings Illinois is doing exactly that in East St. Louis. However, to meet the state’s requirement, DraftKings only requires you to be on the property.

You can create an account through the DraftKings handset app or website when you arrive at the parking lot. Although you also have the option to register inside the retail book’s window, it is not a requirement.

DraftKings employs a geolocation technology named “PinPoint,” developed by GeoComply. This technology utilizes your mobile device’s location services and Bluetooth beacons to establish a “fence line” around the casino.

While this betting structure clearly has advantages for bettors, it also benefits the state government. Nowadays, it cannot be argued that the in-person authority was intended for anything other than retaliation.

True justification for DraftKings’ in-person registration requirement

This is optimizing a poor situation for potential DraftKings users in Illinois.

Some Illinois residents also struggle with the inconvenience of traveling to East St. Louis just to tap their phone screens a few times. However, this method is slightly less inconvenient.

Furthermore, by enabling registrants to remain in their cars, this helps to prevent the spread of COVID-19. This not only protects the bettors, but also the employees of Casino Queen.

People from Illinois need to scrutinize a particular story because of the incident that occurred.

In 2015, Lisa Madigan, who was then the Attorney General of Illinois, expressed an opinion that the daily fantasy contests for cash prizes offered online by DraftKings and FanDuel, which require paid entries, amount to illegal gambling.

Despite the statement, DraftKings and FanDuel persisted in accepting comments and awarding medals in Illinois. It is no surprise that Madigan consistently raised the issue. If charges had continued to be pressed, it is uncertain whether a jury would have found someone guilty, considering the massive resources such an action would necessitate.

This does not mean that DraftKings was immune to penalties. Led by Madigan & rsquo, who is the father of the Speaker of the Illinois House, the Illinois Legislature took retaliatory measures last year.

The law in Illinois set up a sort of “penalty box” for DraftKings.

The law requires bettor registration until the Illinois Gaming Board issues the first of three licenses for online-only casino operators.

According to the law, the IGB cannot issue any of those licenses until 540 days have elapsed since the first wager was accepted by the state’s primary financial sportsbook. With RiversCasino being the first to accept bets on March 9, the countdown has already begun.

What does this mean for DraftKings, Illinois activities punters?

DraftKings has proceeded to launch despite the 540-day “penalty box” period, but it wasn’t without a cost. The site’s growth potential is limited due to specific requirements, and it also has to share its El revenue with its facility partner.

The St. Louis metro area is certainly a significant population hub in Illinois, although it isn’t considered the most potent market region. DraftKings IL Sportsbook is attempting to convince Chicago residents that making an eight-hour round trip to place bets is a worthwhile endeavor.

The BetRivers online casino is another alternative for lawful gambling, located closer to Chicago. When those bookies become active online, PointsBet and William Hill will also be accessible in the wider Chicago area.

This subscription model greatly benefits the blackjack.

The casino will not witness those customers depositing money or exploring various activities on-site, as registrants can complete the process without stepping inside the building.

The IL wouldn’t just allow bettors to sign up through their devices in the DraftKings at the Casino Queen parking lot if adhering to the state’s self-exclusion program, or meeting minimum age requirements, was the reason. If that were the case, they might need bettors to present themselves in person.

The idiots in this scenario are the punters in El.

However, the primary focus of this section of Illinois laws was not these irrelevant issues. Instead, this section was entirely dedicated to penalizing DraftKings for over four years of non-compliance with the state’s attorney general.

No one should bear grudges against DraftKings. The company made a choice, and now it must face the consequences. However, in this scenario, the new sports bettors in Illinois are the ones who suffer.

They need to travel, possibly for hours each way, to an East St. Louis parking lot just to spend a short amount of time on-site. Once there, they perform a series of tasks that they could easily do anywhere else, provided the same level of security and compliance is maintained.

Although the requirement for in-person registration at DraftKings will be phased out over the next two years, it is currently a significant disadvantage for legal online sportsbooks based in Illinois. Furthermore, it does not contribute to the improvement of the customer experience.

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Helling Derek

Derek Helling holds the position of lead writer at PlayUSA and manages BetHer. He graduated from the University of Iowa in 2013, and his writing covers the cross-sections of sports, business, and law.

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