Pritzker had signed an executive order in August granting sportsbooks the ability to provide mobile registration. The order was in effort to stimy traffic at retail casinos as Covid-19 cases spiked last summer and fall.
As cases dropped over the past months, Illinois has allowed casinos to operate under increasing capacity. Pritzker felt that mobile registration was no longer needed to subdue crowds at sportsbooks and allowed the executive order to expire this past weekend.
By forcing residents to sign up for accounts in-person, Pritzker may inadvertently be slowing down the growth one of the rapidly expanding sports betting markets in the US.
January produced sports betting handle of $582m, up 18% from December. Illinois took in the fourth most handle of any state in January.
DraftKings alone accounted for $243m, or 43%, of the January handle in large part thanks to mobile registration.
DraftKings Sportsbook is partnered with Casino Queen in East St. Louis, which sits on the opposite side of the state as the Chicagoland area. Sports bettors living in and near Chicago must now drive approximately four hours across the state to open a DraftKings account.
There are a few casinos in and around Chicagoland who stand to benefit from the in-person registration rule. They include Rivers Casino Des Plaines and Penn National Gaming’s Hollywood Casino Aurora, partnered with Barstool Sportsbook.