Governor J.B. Pritzker has decided not to renew an executive order that allowed Illinois bettors to register for sports wagering remotely.
This means that any sports fans in the state that now want to register for digital wagering options must first register in-person at a bricks and mortar sportsbook.
Gov. Pritzker had signed Executive Order 2020-41 in June of 2020 in response to travel restrictions and the closure of land-based casinos due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The order allowed Illinois residents to use their smartphones to register for any sports betting services.
The Governor had renewed the order a total of nine times previously however, the governor’s office noted that the order was no longer needed as the casino industry has reopened for business.
In an email sent from the governor’s office on Friday, a spokeswoman said:
“Illinois is currently in phase four with vaccination rates rapidly increasing and casinos around the state have reopened with safety guidelines in place, so the suspension of in person sports betting registration requirements is no longer needed,”
In the months that the executive order was in place, a total of six operators launched mobile betting services. The state’s sports wagering handle for the same period (Mar 2020 — Feb 2021) was almost $2.5 billion with over 95% of those bets being mobile bets.
Speaking of the reinstatement of in-person registration, State Rep. Mike Zalewski, D-Riverside said:
“It’s important to remember that without the in-person registration requirement, sports betting would have never been legalized in 2019 as it was a pivotal aspect of an agreement among all the stakeholders,”
“That being said, the strong revenue numbers generated reflect that Illinois should have a robust online marketplace with no restrictions. I’m hopeful we can continue to modify the law and keep Illinois one of the most successful sports betting states in the country.”
The in-person requirement came back into force on Sunday.