Illinois Preparing to Suspend In-Person Betting Registration

Illinois is preparing to enter the March Madness season with a few perks of its own. The sports betting state has allowed bettors to continue betting on events remotely providing they have registered in-person beforehand for most of the two years the industry has been online. Now, the state has also scrapped this last pesky condition and enabled players to register remotely just as well.

Online Betting Registrations Begin in Illinois

What this means is that the online registration, which was introduced for 10 months during the pandemic, has now been available since Saturday with every unregistered sports bettor in Illinois able to complete their registration remotely. Based on preliminary estimates, the removal of in-person registration could lead to $1 billion in legal sports betting during the March betting season with sportsbooks such as DraftKings and FanDuel vying to claim the biggest chunk of the total.

Illinois has acted smartly as people are reluctant to drive to a physical casino to register and may choose to bet illegally or offshore as it’s usually far more convenient to do so. Now that in-person registration is no longer hindering progress, though, Illinois is set to reach its full potential with March Madness highlighting just how much the state stands to benefit.

As FanDuel and DraftKings gear up for their busiest season yet, a new operator has already been authorized to launch ahead with a dedicated mobile app. BetMGM launched on Saturday to coincide with the rule that lifts in-person registrations. This means that Illinois now has nine retail sportsbooks, seven of which are already running mobile betting platforms.

While the 2020 March Madness season had to be scuppered and the 2021 one was played in a highly restricted environment, this year is the competition’s chance to return to a semblance of normality.

Strong Betting Results in 2021 Expected to Be Improved

Meanwhile, the Illinois Gaming Board reported that 95% of the $7 billion wagered in the state in 2021 came from online and mobile bets. The state managed to generate about $79 million in tax revenue along with $6 million that went to Cook County.

Meanwhile, DraftKings, FanDuel, and BetMGM will most likely focus on the Chicago area and seek to add more digital bettors there through aggressive advertisement practices. All of this comes in the context of a constantly growing interest in sports betting. According to the American Gaming Association, a trade body, that monitors the industry, a total of $57.22 billion was wagered in the United States in 2021.

As March Madness is about to begin, Illinois is well-prepared having welcomed a new leading sportsbook and abolished the in-person registration condition.

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