Ending the COVID-19 order
Governor J.B. Pritzker issued a new Gubernatorial Disaster Proclamation on Friday, effectively ending the rights of Illinoisans to register remotely for online sports betting accounts.
In early June, the Prairie State governor initially lifted the in-person registration requirement with Executive Order 2020-41 following the outbreak of COVID-19. The order suspended the need for bettors to create an account at a casino or sportsbook facility “in order to participate in sports wagering offered over the internet or through a mobile application.”
Executive Order 2020-41 was conspicuous by its absence”
While Pritzker reissued and extended a number of executive orders on Friday, Executive Order 2020-41 was conspicuous by its absence. Its non-renewal creates real difficulties for Illinois sportsbooks such as DraftKings, which recently offered Illinois bettors a free $100 wager for signing up ahead of its official state launch.
DraftKings’ Illinois presence impacted
The reintroduction of the temporarily suspended in-person registration in the Land of Lincoln comes as a particular blow for DraftKings. Just last week, DraftKings struck a deal with Casino Queen in East St. Louis, rebranding the casino DraftKings at Casino Queen. While DraftKings intends to open a retail sportsbook at the Illinois location, Casino Queen has not yet received approval to offer sports wagering.
A week ago, DraftKings chief business officer Ezra Kucharz spoke of the excitement surrounding the team-up and “becoming a part of the fabric of Illinois’ rich sports culture.” Casino president Terry Downey echoed Kucharz’s optimism, adding that customers “will consider only one choice for gaming and sports betting; DraftKings at Casino Queen.”
War of attrition
The Prairie State has proved something of a minefield for DraftKings. In May 2019, DraftKings joined forces with FanDuel and began flighting a $1m ad campaign targeted at Rivers Casinos after it backed a proposal that would prohibit the two sportsbooks from operating in the state’s sports betting market for three years.
DraftKings and FanDuel were ordered to pull the TV ads and legislators changed the sports betting bill to include a clause dubbed “penalty box”. The inbuilt clause, intended to favor local online-only sportsbooks, prevented operators such as Draftkings and FanDuel from launching a sportsbook in the state for 18 months.
latest wild twist in the DraftKings-Illinois tale”
After the sportsbook found a way around the penalty box clause along with FanDuel, this latest wild twist in the DraftKings-Illinois tale is potentially the cruelest.