Illinois sports betting took a turn in the right direction for the bettors across the state. Remote registration will be making its return as it was reinstated for a limited time due to the pandemic.
Remote Registration to Stay Permanently
On Saturday at 10 am CST, new users will not have to go to a casino to complete an in-person registration to use an online sportsbook. Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed HB 3136 into law back in December and established March 5th as the date to end in-person registration.
Mobile sports betting is convenient for the majority of the population, as the monthly mobile sports betting handles suggest. For some residents, in-person registration are a hassle as some don’t live near a casino or a gaming facility.
Sportsbook operators like DraftKings and FanDuel have partnered with casinos in the East St. Louis area. However, someone who lives in the St. Louis area would have to drive across the state to be able to use BetRivers or Barstool as their retail locations are in the Chicago suburb area.
Nevada is the only state that requires in-person registration, which signifies that the mobile sports betting percentage is always further down compared to other industry leaders like New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and many others. Once March 5th arrives, Nevada will be the only state that requires in-person registration.
HB 3136 Also Allows In-State College Sports Betting With a Few Restrictions
Bettors will have the opportunity to wager on in-state college programs which faced opposition from athlete directors and others involved with these programs. The main concerns were for the safety of the student-athlete and the player’s academic performance.
Bettors can now bet on teams like Northwestern, Illini, and other collegiate programs with a restriction. People can only place wagers at retail sportsbooks or racetrack sportsbooks.
Wagering on spreads, moneylines, and total game under/over totals on college games will be allowed, but player prop bets will still be prohibited. Player props measure the individual’s performance, and the ban will continue in that category. The in-state ban could return in two years if state lawmakers do not pass another bill allowing it.
HB 3136 Allows Sports Venues to Apply for a Sportsbook License
Professional sports teams will be able to host a retail sportsbook in their venue as HB 3136 allowed Wintrust Arena and four other sports facilities to apply for sportsbook licenses.
Wintrust Arena was once ineligible to apply for a license because it did not meet the capacity requirement in the Sports Wagering Act. However, the Chicago Sky winning the WNBA title has given owner Michael Alter to convince state lawmakers to include the venue in the deal, and it worked.
The bill also prohibits towns from imposing more per-push taxes on video slot machines. With online registration taking in a matter of days, this could increase the state’s mobile and overall handle for March. Especially with March Madness ready to push the average betting volume much higher.