Remote Registration for Online Sports Betting Returns in Illinois

  • Gov. J.B. Pritzker reissued Executive Order 2020-41 on Friday, in place until September 19
  • Initial order suspended in-person registration from June 4, brought to an end on July 26 
  • DraftKings, and reportedly BetRivers, now accepting remote sign-ups from Illinois residents
hand signaling a win as the other hand holds a smartphone showing online sportsbook results
Remote registration for online sports betting accounts in Illinois has made a return until September 19. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Good news for Illinois bettors

Illinois residents are once again able to remotely register for an online sports betting account. Governor J.B. Pritzker reissued Executive Order 2020-41 on Friday, extending the period of remote registration through September 19, 2020. 

remote registration through September 19

During the height of the pandemic, casinos were shut across the state, meaning that bettors could not physically visit such facilities to set up an online sports wagering account. As a result, remote registration was allowed from June 4 until it was brought to an end by the governor on July 26. 

The Sports Wagering Act that was signed by Gov. Pritzker in July 2019 states that players have to register in-person for an online sports betting account during the first 18 months of the legal market being live.

Online sportsbooks set to benefit

Having launched its online sports betting offering in Illinois early August, DraftKings looks set to take advantage of the return of remote registration. It has since announced on Twitter that it is now accepting remote registrations from the state’s residents:

DraftKings is one of only two online sportsbooks to launch in Illinois to date. The other operator, BetRivers, is reportedly also allowing bettors to remotely register for new accounts.

Not long ago, it was looking like DraftKings would have to wait 18 months after the launch of legal sports betting in Illinois before it could go live. A provision in the legislation required online-only operators to wait before entering the market. However, DraftKings got around it by partnering with Casino Queen in East St. Louis. The facility has since been renamed DraftKings at Casino Queen.

A bumpy start for Illinois sports betting

Legal sports betting went live in Illinois on March 9, only a few days before sporting events began grinding to a halt due to the pandemic. Retail sportsbooks were closed for business as all casinos in the state ceased operations on March 16. It was these closures that led to the governor’s decision to temporarily allow remote registration two months ago.

Illinois casinos have been open since July 1, operating at reduced capacity. However, with COVID-19 cases on the rise across the state, new restrictions have been put in place on the opening hours of gambling and betting properties.

DraftKings’ big rival, FanDuel, plans to launch in Illinois, but there is no exact timeline for when it might do so. A Barstool Sports-branded online sportsbook is also set to go live in the first quarter of 2021.