In light of declining revenue, Gov. J.B. Pritzker has signed an executive order on Thursday, overhauling existing legislation and granting casinos and racetracks the ability to apply for a mobile license and enable patrons to register and place bets from home.
Illinois Receives a Big Mobile Sports Betting Boost
Illinois may have just got an unprecedented boost of its sports betting industry, fast-tracking the timeline for mobile betting by six months. Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed an executive order on Thursday that now allows bettors to make the jump to online betting directly from their home.
Usually, a shift towards mobile betting would have made a big splash, but with Las Vegas restarting operations and the death of George Floyd, and ensuing protests, the significance of Gov. Pritzker’s decision was buried – until now.
With sports betting venues blocked, online betting will come as a worthy replacement, which will not only shore up short-term results but also pave a way for a tangibly better future.
As per active legislation from 2019, punters had to register at casinos in person before they can place any wager. However, the coronavirus outbreak has forced many lawmakers, not least Gov. Pritzker, to think on their feet.
Now, sportsbooks no longer require punters to register in person. As per the Thursday executive order, passed by the governor. Commenting on these developments, Marcus Fruchter from Illinois’ Gaming Board had this to say:
“Governor Pritzker’s executive order allows Illinois sports fans to temporarily place wagers from the safety of their own home, protecting a revenue source that is critical as the state begins to recover from the damaging financial impact of COVID-19.”
He further added that the regulator is also looking forward to welcoming patrons back to casinos once the health authorities’ clear businesses for reopening in the state. Similar to elsewhere, all Illinois casinos have been suspended since mid-March.
Illinois Operators Can Now Welcome Mobile Betting
All ten properties have been working on plans to restart operations, but an official approval by authorities would first be necessary. So far, only Argosy Casino Alton and Rivers have been granted a temporary operating license, with all other properties shut down.
However, none has still applied for a mobile license, which is also a prerequisite in kickstarting remote gaming operations. Next week, the IGB will hold a meeting on June 11, the first for the regulator since January 30.
As to available events to bet on, Illinois patrons will have to wait a bit. The biggest draw is going to be the Blackhawks who are going to compete in the NHL season restart. With European soccer leagues and motors sports in the United States also returning, though, there are more opportunities and bets to take advantage of.
The NBA has also announced plans to restart operations. According to Tom Swoik, Illinois Casino Gaming Association executive director, if the state had passed mobile gaming before, operators would still be making “a little money.”
How quick Illinois’ operators move to adopt mobile gaming now is a matter that rests with each individual casino and sportsbook.