New Legislation Clears Path For Illinois Mobile Sportsbook Registration

Next year it will be easier to register for an online sportsbook in Illinois, thanks to an amendment passed by state legislators. The new law would allow citizens to register via their mobile devices, and once Gov. J.B. Pritzker signs it, the in-person registration requirement would expire on March 5, 2022.

House Bill 3136 removes the need to go to a casino or horse track to register for sports betting in Illinois. It had bipartisan support, and Gov. Pritzker is expected to sign it soon.

The amendment has a wrinkle: If Illinois issues any mobile-only sports betting licenses before March 5, those sportsbooks can register users via mobile. Previously, Gov. Pritzker signed an executive order that permitted mobile registration during the pandemic in 2020 and renewed it seven times before it expired in April 2021. Legislators have been seeking consensus to pass an amendment to allow for mobile registration since then.

Amendment Will Allow Betting On Illinois College Teams

HB 3136 also addresses an issue that has been frustrating for bettors in Illinois — wagering on in-state college teams. Should Gov. Pritzker sign the bill, bettors will be permitted to place bets on events involving Illinois college teams. Under this new law, those bets must be placed in person. Betting on individual performances by in-state collegiate athletes will remain prohibited.

As is the case across the United States, college football and college basketball are tremendously popular for bettors. The ability to register via mobile app and to wager on in-state schools should increase activity and gaming revenue in Illinois.

How Will New Laws Impact Sports Betting in Illinois?

Other states that launched with mobile registration laws saw their gaming revenues perform better per-capita than states that chose to be cautious with in-person registration mandates. Per reporting by Christopher Gerlacher at Gaming Today, in Colorado bettors wagered more per capita than Illinois bettors in their 18+ months of legalization, largely due to that state’s embrace of mobile registration.

About the Author

Dan Holmes

Dan Holmes has written three books about sports. He previously worked for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Major League Baseball. He enjoys writing, running, and lemon bars. He lives near Lake Michigan with his daughters and usually has an orange cream soda nearby.