BetMGM Plans to Enter Illinois Online Sports Betting Market in Early 2022

BetMGM Plans to Enter Illinois Online Sports Betting Market in Early 2022

It appears 2022 could be a grandiose year for BetMGM, as the company readies itself to launch in Illinois, as well as Louisiana and Puerto Rico.

In a company press release issued this week, BetMGM says it plans to launch online sports betting in Illinois in the first quarter of 2022. The company also plans an online launch in Louisiana in the next three months, as well as opening a retail sportsbook in Puerto Rico sometime during the year.

During an investor’s call Wednesday, BetMGM Chief Executive Officer Adam Greenblatt laid out the company’s vision for its existing and upcoming markets.

Greenblatt said he’s excited to see how the company, which raked in a record $850 million in revenue during 2021 and is projected to earn $1.3 billion in 2022, handles the rollout process in sports betting hotbeds like Illinois.

“Luckily, the sports betting train is doing its thing and we’re very pleased with the progress that’s been made in that area,” Greenblatt said. “And on iGaming, the trends are positive. There’s talk of legislation in a number of other states, such as Iowa, Illinois, and potentially even Nevada.”

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End of In-Person Registration Nearing

The end of Illinois’ in-person mobile sportsbook registration happens March 5, and that’s expected to greatly change the sports betting landscape in the state.

The law that ended in-person registration was signed in late December. The state’s 2019 sports betting law requires customers who want to wager online to first register in-person at an operators’ retail location.

The in-person registration requirement could only be lifted after an online-only license was awarded in the state. But online-only licenses were priced at $20 million, prompting major online operators like DraftKings Sportsbook to join forces with casinos or racetracks to enter the market.

This week’s announcement means BetMGM has either found a casino partner in the state or decided to apply for an online-only license.

How BetMGM Could Impacts State’s Marketplace

The addition of a mobile sports betting mainstay like BetMGM would further cement Illinois online gambling as one of the power players in the nation.

The state has accumulated the fourth-largest handle since launching in 2019, raking in north of $8 billion, behind New Jersey ($22.7B), Nevada ($19.7B), and Pennsylvania ($11.6B), and ahead of No. 5 Indiana ($6B).

Even with online customers needing to register in-person, Illinois still saw more than $800 million in mobile sports betting handle in October — part of a state record total handle of $840.4 million for the month.

Illinois is the only one of the top five states in handle where BetMGM doesn’t already operate.

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Christopher Boan is a lead writer at specializing in covering state issues. He covered sports and sports betting in Arizona for more than seven years, including stops at, the Tucson Weekly and the Green Valley News.

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