Illinois Sportsbooks Opened Doors To A ‘Remarkable July’

As sportsbooks took advantage of the executive order that briefly allowed remote registration for sports bettors, Illinois was able to open the door to a ‘remarkable July’.

While there were only two sportsbooks that took advantage of the decision, according to analysts for PlayIllinois, the Illinois Gaming Board reported that 230,000 mobile sports betting accounts were established, a number that would have been a fraction of that with the state’s in-person registration requirement in place.

Dustin Gouker, lead analyst for PlayIllinois.com said: “We have seen over the past two years that legal jurisdictions with remote registration have a distinct advantage over those states with an in-person registration requirement.

“With Illinois’ sizable potential as a market, it could be a difference measure in tens of millions in wagers each month.”

PlayIllinois has projected that sports betting in The Prairie State will produce bets of between $9 billion and $11 billion per year.

Illinois sportsbooks approved $61.8 million in bets through July, producing $52.5 million at a time that was largely devoid of major sports. BetRivers / Rivers Casino in Des Plaines created $52.5 million of that, with the remainder coming from Argosy Casino Alton.

However, with the worldwide pandemic limiting companies and ambiguous in-person registration laws that have been on and off again, Illinois faced a rocky start to its sports betting debut.

With Gov. J.B. Pritzker opening the remote registration window again, at least until Saturday, DraftKings, FanDuel, PointsBet and William Hill – all of whom have opened online sportsbooks in the state – will be able to accept remote registrations.

According to PlayIllinois, this, coupled with the return of major sports, may mean the ’10s of millions of dollars’ difference.

“We’re so early in the process in Illinois, but August and September will be particularly telling months,” Gouker said. “Obviously, we expect a surge in action just from a full schedule of major sports. But remote registration widens the market by simply adding a layer of convenience for those in Illinois who don’t live near a retail sportsbook.”