Here’s a pithy saying for you: “Another month, another sports betting online registration extension from Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker.”
Too wordy? Probably. But listen, it’s just the truth, and there’s not much of a story here beyond “For the seemingly billionth time, Pritzker extended sports betting online registration for Illinois bettors.”
This time around, the extension is good through April 3, 2021. And guess what’ll happen a few days before that? You guessed it, another extension. At this point Illinois’ most likely path is ongoing monthly extensions until sports bettors can, once and for all, register online in perpetuity. If you’re worried Prtizker will finally let the executive order lapse, then by all means register online now.
Online Registration Madness In Time For March Madness
This extension, which was already a foregone conclusion, is timed exceptionally. It coincides with the onset of March Madness, which will undoubtedly have Illinois bettors clamoring for some action.
What’s more, The University of Illinois, a team I am somewhat obliged to cheer for by virtue of being married to an alumnus, actually has a decent shot to perform well this year. As of this writing, U of I’s odds to win currently sit at +900.
The catch? Illinois bettors can’t wager on Illinois or any other in-state school. The is due to the state’s regulatory framework. Good news for me, however, an Iowa alumnus who doesn’t mind the occasional risky bet for my Hawkeyes.
For Illinois diehards, this means a trip across the border to Indiana is the best route to placing a bet on the Urbana-Champaign mainstay.
What Else Is Happening In Illinois?
A few key developments recently from the Prairie State.
Illinois closed out 2020 with record-setting handle. Also, the state legislature introduced a bill that would legalize online casino gaming. This, presumably, is a natural extension of the state’s sports betting success of late.
Right now, many sportsbook operators are gearing up for Illinois launches. But it appears many are biding their time for the 18-month waiting period for online registrations to expire. A smart move, considering Pritzker’s monthly re-upping plan. Now that online casino is on the table, operators may shift strategies to include slots and table games in addition to sports bets.
And finally, on a sadder note, Churchill Downs is looking to sell Arlington International Racecourse. Rumor among the suburban dads (well, just MY dad, really), is that the former racing juggernaut will be steamrolled to make room for housing developments. No word on the veracity of that claim, but Arlington’s fate as a racecourse, in general, is certainly in jeopardy.