In a re-extension of an extension’s extension, Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s executive order from June temporarily waiving the in-person sportsbook registration requirement has been carried over once again, this time until Dec. 12.
It’s the third consecutive month Pritzker has incrementally renewed the order allowing Illinois sports bettors to register for their accounts online, and it comes at a time when the coronavirus is surging out of control in much of the country.
Here We Go Again
Backing up for a moment for context. Pritzker suspended the in-person registration requirement in early June as part of a Gubernatorial Disaster Proclamations Executive Order in response to the pandemic. This meant Illinois sports bettors could for the first time register accounts for online sportsbooks using an app or website instead of going to a casino in person.
Towards the end of July, Pritzker renewed most of the initial executive order, but did not at the time extend the provision allowing for mobile registration, much to the consternation of bettors and platforms.
In late August DraftKings and FanDuel Attorney Jeremy Kudon posted on Twitter that Pritzker had done an about-face, allowing mobile sports betting registrations to continue in the state through Sept. 19. The night before the order was set to expire, Pritzker once again renewed it, this time until Oct. 17. Like clockwork on Oct. 16, Pritzker extended mobile registration once again, which brings us to today and the latest extension, set to expire Dec. 12.
If I were a betting man, I’d say there’s a distinct possibility Pritzker will be announcing another extension, say, around Dec. 11? But we’ll have to wait and see.
Illinois Mobile Sports Betting
Illinois legalized sports betting in June 2019. The very first legal sports bet was placed in the state in March 2020, just as the pandemic began forcing casino closures coast to coast. Mobile sports betting launched on June 18 of this year, while retail casinos reopened July 1.
The first mobile sportsbook app to launch in the state was BetRivers, but its status as Illinois’ lone sportsbook was short-lived. Before long, others including PointsBet, William Hill, DraftKings, FanDuel, and Penn National opened up shop and are taking wagers right now.
Illinois sports betting saw a 118% increase in wagers from July to August, and September’s figures more than doubled that, reaching $285 million. Considering $264 million of September’s take was placed online, there’s a very obvious appetite in the state for mobile sports betting. It will be interesting to see if Gov. Pritzker continues extending online registration month-to-month in December, with a few months of historical sports betting handle data to look at.