Only Sports Betting is Now Live in Illinois. 5 things you should know 

The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992, also known as PASPA or the Bradley Act, effectively outlawed sports betting in Illinois and many other parts of the United States, with a few exceptions for some states. However, this all changed in 2018 when the Supreme Court deemed PAPSA unconstitutional, therefore lifting the ban on sports betting all over the country.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker was largely responsible for pushing the complicated legislation t the finish line and thus, the S 690 bill was signed into law in June 2019. It is because of this law that Illinois is now able to finally embrace and authorize sports betting. The state now determines its sports gambling laws, which has led to the sudden growth of online sports betting as well as in-person sportsbooks in the state.

Rivers Casino Des Plaines was the first casino in the state to take a legal Illinois sports wager on March 9th, 2o20. The state legislature that passed the bill now allows betting at riverboat casinos, sports facilities, as well as horse tracks. Online sports betting went live later that summer and today, punters in the state can create online accounts to wager on.

So what else does one need to know about sports betting in Illinois? Here are 5 things you should know:

The return of major sports has been a boon

Although sports betting options have been limited all over the country with the cancellation of major sports, the return of sports has captivated sports-starved Illinois residents. This has led to an uptick in the number of spots bets made all over the state.

Legal sportsbooks in Illinois have seen considerable growth in wagering activity on major sports leagues such as the Premier League, UFC, and the NFL; probably far more than would have taken place under regular circumstances. As major sports continue to forge ahead with their current and future plans, the Illinois sports betting market should continue to flourish.

There is a variety of sports betting apps to choose from

Online sports betting took off to a peculiar start this year. Retail sportsbooks in the state went live some mere days before the professional sports leagues shut down thanks to the COVID-19 crisis. As such, even though sports betting was legal, it wasn’t enjoying the best of starts.

But now that things have started to normalize all over the country, sports betting is finally on the up and up. For now, punters in the state have a variety of sports betting apps that they can choose from that include

  • William Hill
  • DraftKings sportsbook
  • BetRivers
  • FanDuel sportsbook
  • PointsBet

In-person registration is required

All these apps are readily available for residents of Illinois. However, one has to register in-person for an account with the casino or racetrack linked with the sportsbook app. For short period, Gov. J.B. Pritzker did respond to the realities of the pandemic by issuing an executive order suspending the in-person registration mandate.

This order superseded the law’s earlier stipulation that punters should register for online sports betting accounts in-person for the 1st 18 months. While the order was rescinded in July, it went back into effect and punters must now show up in person to register for any online sports betting account before they can start wagering.

It could be some time before online-only sportsbooks come to the state

Although legal sports betting is legal in the state, no sportsbooks have as yet begun to offer mobile sports betting. However, when they do, the industry is scheduled to grow even further. As you can expect, punters will have to register in person before they can start betting on any online sports betting account.

This mobile delay requirement, which is also commonly referred to as the ‘penalty box’ requires mobile-only operators to wait for 18 months before they can go live. After this period is over, Illinois will have 3 mobile-only operators to choose from. Operators wishing to run mobile-only apps will also have to part with a $20 million fee, wait to receive regulatory approval, as well as invest millions upon millions of dollars in marketing efforts.

This requirement will hold until the very 1st standalone mobile sportsbook platform launches in the state- and it appears that this may not become a reality until 2022. It has become painfully apparent that Illinois will take a while before it catches up to other states such as New Jersey, Colorado, and India, which already enjoy mobile sports betting.

Important rules to keep in mind

Before an individual can bet on sports in Illinois, he or she must be at least 21 years old to be able to bet in-person or physically at a brick-and-mortar location. An individual can visit any one of the state’s already existing 7 locations to register for an online betting account. Punters have to physically be situated within state lanes to bet although they do not necessarily have to be residents.

Anyone over the legal age in Illinois can wager on straight bets, live in-game wagers, parlays, prop bets, and many other types of wagers on a range of national and international professional sports leagues. Punters are also allowed to wager on major college sports, except those that are state-based, as well as on motor racing anywhere in the world.

Bettors are also prohibited from wagering on contests involving the state’s high school teams. Residents are anticipated to wager on many of the local state-based teams such as the White Sox, Blackhawks, the Bears, Cubs, and of course, the Bulls.

Final Thoughts

Now that sports betting is legal in Illinois, the industry is showing a lot of potential. And even though in-person registration for anyone wishing to bet on online sports is now back in effect, the industry is still showing promise and signs of succeeding long terms.  Sadly, it has become evident that if the state wants to join the ranks of other well-performing states like New Jersey, it has to make mobile signup a priority.



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