Sports betting was legalized in Illinois in March 2020, but the timing wasn’t ideal. Things came to a screeching stop practically as soon as the COVID-19 outbreak broke out. Less than a week before Governor J.B. Pritzker ordered the closing of all state casinos, a limited number of brick-and-mortar sportsbooks remained operational.
Since then, Illinois residents and tourists have access to the majority of the nation’s most popular online sportsbooks.
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Legal Online Sportsbook in Illinois
On June 18, 2020, Rivers Casino in Illinois launched BetRivers’ online sports betting platform, making it the first of its kind in the state. On June 4, Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed Executive Order 2020-41, which waived the need for a person to physically be in a casino/sportsbook to create access to mobile sports betting account. Up until the end of July, customers may register for online/mobile accounts using their mobile devices or laptops rather than at a casino.
However, Pritzker reversed the executive order on August 20th, enabling gamblers to create accounts without having to go into public places during the COVID-19 outbreak. The injunction was repeatedly extended but expired in April of 2021 due to non-compliance. For the first time in over a year, the necessity for in-person registration has been removed. On March 5, 2022, online sportsbook registration became a reality in Illinois.
Since Illinois legalized sports betting in 2020, everything has taken off. Online sportsbooks are now available in the state, as well as in brick-and-mortar locations. Online sports betting in Illinois is likely to skyrocket if legislative limits on online registration are lifted in 2022. Everything you need to know about sports betting can be found in this comprehensive Illinois sports betting guide which also includes a list of the 10 top Illinois sportsbooks and the finest new player incentives.
Expanding in the Industry
In August, Illinoisans wagered $400.4 million, an increase of 185.8 percent over the $140.1 million the state handled in August 2020. This August, the state witnessed an average of $12.9 million in bets each day, compared to $4.5 million per day in August 2020, which is a significant difference.
Online sports betting accounted for 95% of all legal bets placed in the state in August.
Illinois Off-shore Sports Betting
You may bet on sports at an offshore sportsbook if you live in Illinois. You don’t have to spend hours driving to one of the state’s sportsbook casinos to open an account with an offshore sportsbook. Pre-game and in-game live betting on in-state college teams is also possible at offshore bookmakers.
However, utilizing an overseas sportsbook to place online bets in Illinois is not permitted. Only state-licensed sportsbooks are allowed to accept bets in the state of New Jersey. Legal actions involving offshore betting sites are very uncommon, but it’s crucial for Illinois gamblers to understand that these sites operate outside of the state’s gaming rules.
Daily Fantasy sports
Daily fantasy sports’ legal status has been murky since Illinois Attorney General J.B. Pritzker argued that they should be deemed unlawful gambling in 2015. Residents of Illinois are free to play any of the main fantasy operators’, interesting games without fear of a visit from the authorities.
Daily fantasy sports, on the other hand, are still theoretically prohibited in the Prairie State, and this might be enforced in the future if large operators succeed in their court battle. A threat of severe penalties to providers might lead to them leaving Illinois even if gamers remain untouchable legally.
Because it is not specifically exempted from the state’s unlawful gambling legislation, daily fantasy sports are now illegal in Illinois. But politicians are interested in outright banning it, and a bill was introduced to do so at the end of 2016 to do exactly that. However, there is a good likelihood that this proposal may be reviewed at some point. Daily fantasy sports would be far more difficult, if not impossible, for Illinois residents if this were to happen.
What is Allowed and how Does the Illinois Sports Betting Legislation Work?
After the Supreme Court overturned the federal prohibition on sports wagering in May 2018, lawmakers in Illinois were among the first to contemplate legalizing the practice. Many diversions and concessions had to take place before Illinois made its first wager.
New Gov. JB Pritzker and experienced legislators Bob Rita and Mike Zalewski helped push through a major capital package (SB 690) that pleased some but left most stakeholders wanting more, after legislative attempts that stagnated in the 2018 session.
Registration is a condition of participation
The bill’s main flaw is the insistence on in-person registration, which is divisive in a market where online and retail sports betting are already competing. Before the first wager was made, the legal market’s potential was limited since all bettors had to be registered in person at a physical and mortar gaming establishment; a tall order considering most such facilities are located outside of the state’s metropolitan centers.
A consumer must visit each facility to make a wager via the internet brand of each property even if he or she joins up in person at that facility. On the other hand, registering for a sportsbook account at the Des Plaines casino may not be tough for a Chicago-area person, but signing up for a sportsbook account at the East St. Louis casino is a lot more difficult due to the 300-mile distance.
Additional rules and regulations
As a result, legal bettors in the state of Illinois will have to use unregulated methods or go outside of the state to gamble on sports involving the University of Illinois or Northwestern University.
To ensure that sportsbooks utilize “official league statistics” while taking in-play wagers, Illinois was one of the first states to impose this requirement. Due to low-profit margins, operators will be forced to buy data from leagues directly, further decreasing earnings.