When Could Online Sports Betting Registration Return To Illinois?
Editor’s Note: As of Saturday, March 5, 2022, you no longer have to visit a retail sportsbook in Illinois to sign up for a legal online sportsbook. Instead, you can register for an Illinois sports betting account on your phone or computer.
Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker threw the IL sports betting market for a loop on Friday, abruptly ending mobile registration despite rising COVID-19 cases.
To open an online sportsbook account, users must now go to an affiliated Illinois casino, racetrack, or off-track betting ( OTB ) site.
And for the time being, that & rsquo will be the case for Illinois sports bettors, barring any new legislation or an executive order.
Here’s what we know about when and how mobile registration could return.
- Who’s For, Against Major Gaming Proposals: The Illinois House Executive Committee discussed several major gaming issues in the state, including in-person registration. See who’s for and against online registration.
Illinois may require an approved virtual license only.
We can go back to distant registration after a mobile – only operator is licensed. The issue is… That can & rsquo won’t occur until December at the earliest possible time.
Right now, every licensed sports betting operator has some kind of tie to a land-based entity. However, the law also allows for three mobile-only licenses.
The problem, as was already mentioned, is that those licenses won’t be accessible for 18 months following the issuance of the initial registration for wireless sports gambling. Additionally, they cost$ 20 million each.
Master licenses, in contrast, cost$ 5 million.
On June 11, 2020, the first portable license was issued. 18 weeks from now, it will be December 2021.
But even though that’s the earliest possible date, it’s unlikely that a license would be handed out that quickly. Consider this section from the Sports Wagering Act:
& ldquo: The Board must receive applications for the initial competitive selection that take place after this Act’s effective date within 540 days of the first license that is issued in accordance with the Act in order to be eligible. Within 630 days of the first license being issued under this Act, the Board must declare the successful bidders for the first dynamic selection. The Board may extend this deadline at its discretion. & rdquo,
There is even dialect that permits the process to continue past March 2022, which is where the 630 days had set us.
While that & rsquo is one component of the puzzle, we cannot ignore another important factor.
Did anyone also attempt to purchase a license that is only online?
Illinois just has licenses, which is a concern.
Obviously, the Illinois sports betting market has not played out as intended.
DraftKings and FanDuel found loopholes to avoid the 18-month “penalty box” by partnering with casinos and racetracks. Then, they became the two largest operators in the state during the nine months while Pritzker’s executive order was in place.
With DraftKings and FanDuel out of the running for the online-only licenses, what operator will pony up $20 million to join this market?
Even if another operator does, it allows others who did not have to pay the$ 20 million to register online.
A new technician would therefore have to pay four times as much for a license as the recent Illinois operators did. They & rsquo would be doing their rivals a huge favor in the meantime.
Perhaps there is an operator inclined, but on the surface, it doesn’t seem like a particularly alluring proposition.
Which providers of sportsbooks may step in to save the day?
As of now, BetMGM and Unibet are pending sports betting applicants.
BetMGM Sportsbook IllinoisUnibet would most likely have access to the business through Argosy Casino Alton, while Par-A-Dice Casino would likely provide access.
TheScore Bet has yet to formally apply, but it recently signed a market access deal with Harrah’s Joliet.
It’s difficult to target any outsider who would pay$ 20 million for the mobile-only license given that Illinois is home to all of the biggest US players.
Bet365 appears to be a chance. However, once more, it would involve paying a sizable amount and assisting both established and new rivals.
Illinois lawmakers may also take action. In the upcoming weeks, we will keep an eye on the laws governing online casinos and keep track of this issue.