Illinois sports bettors will have to register in person at a casino once again before they can put wagers.
The in-person requirement had been suspended by Gov. J.B. Pritzker in early June after the 10 state casinos were closed in mid-March due to a coronavirus pandemic. This allowed sports bettors to register and place bets upon the return of some sports in June.
Yet a second time executive order 2020-41 was not extended and the right to register online expired Sunday. The initial order, posted June 4, was once expanded but was not among a number of orders reissued by Pritzker on Friday.
This comes at a time when the Illinois sports betting industry, probably one of the country’s strongest because of the Chicago population and the city’s rabid sports fans, was about to take off. Particularly because bettors had the opportunity to register online.
Yet reinstatement of the provision in person is obviously a step back for the market. The Illinois Gaming Board meets Thursday and must meet the obligation to file.
PointsBet, DraftKings and FanDuel aimed for a business debut shortly after the gaming board issued provisional operating licences less than two weeks ago. And it comes after DraftKings have made a agreement with the Illinois Casino Queen to rebrand it as “DraftKings at Casino Queen.”
On Thursday, DraftKings unveiled a new casino name located in East St. Louis. The casino is about 300 miles from Chicago, across the Mississippi River from St. Louis.
To obtain a master license, PointsBet requires partner Hawthorne Race Course, located near Chicago in Cicero. The Queen Casino was one of the seven Illinois casinos licenced on June 11 for a Master licence. It’s also confirmed that FanDuel is searching for a partner.
Recently, the gaming board issued emergency rules that would require the online sports betting co-branding. According to the website of the gaming board, an emergency rule is a rule adopted which takes effect immediately upon first filing with the Secretary of State and expires automatically after 150 days.
Online sports betting was launched in Illinois on 18 June when Rush Street Interactive’s Rivers Casino opened online sportsbook betrivers.com in Des Plaines, a suburb of Chicago. The Chicago based Rush Avenue.
The state law Pritzker signed last year mandated the identification of an in-person. In Illinois, the law required casinos, stadiums / arenas, and horse tracks to have sports betting licences.
But it also required a waiting period of 18 months for Online-only operators to start betting. It allowed operators to become directly affiliated with the State’s casino, track, or stadium / arena to escape the so-called “penalty box.”
Rhode Island has just passed legislation to rid itself of its obligation in person. Iowa does, too, but the obligation expires on January 1.
At the time of the coronavirus pandemic, Illinois was praised in the state and the gaming industry for the decision to suspend the requirement to register in person. At the very least, many assumed it would be expanded, or made permanent.
But Illinois casinos reopened in early July and sadly the in-state registration requirement is back.