The Illinois General Assembly’s Senate Executive Committee voted 16-0 on Wednesday to advance an amendment that would end the in-person registration requirement for online Illinois sportsbooks on March 5, 2022.
In-person registration, which is required by the state’s sports betting law, was waived by an executive order from Gov. JB Pritzker in June 2020. But mobile registration was not renewed by Pritzker in April of this year, as Illinois casinos were reopening in response to declining COVID-19 cases in the state.
What’s Next for the Amendment?
Now, the Illinois online gambling amendment is eligible to go before the full senate floor for a vote.
The issue for proponents of the amendment is the Assembly is in the middle of a veto session, which wraps up Thursday. When the current session ends, the body will not reconvene until January.
Why the End of In-Person Registration Matters
A major sticking point with Illinois’ gaming law is the $20 million fee that’s attached to acquiring an online-only sports betting license.
Several operators, including DraftKings Sportsbook Illinois and FanDuel Sportsbook Illinois, decided to join forces with land-based casinos and race tracks to get around the online-only licensing structure.
As state law currently stands, in-person registration can only be lifted after an online-only license is awarded.
What the End of In-Person Registration Could Mean
Illinois’ sports betting market hasn’t been too negatively impacted by the in-person registration, at least from a revenue perspective.
The Land of Lincoln raked in north of $400 million in sports betting handle in August, which is the third-highest sum of any state in the country, behind New Jersey and Nevada.
Still, the decision by the Illinois Senate to unanimously advance the sports betting registration amendment could have major implications for a host of operators looking to get in on the action.
Upstarts, like theScore Bet, along with industry stalwarts, such as WynnBET, Bally’s, Golden Nugget, BetMGM and Unibet could all benefit from the amendment.
All of them would likely savor the opportunity to get into the game in Illinois, with Wednesday’s unanimous vote moving that possibility one step closer to reality.