Illinois Gov. Pritzker orders shutdown of casinos as Covid-19 cases rise

November 17, 2020

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker has ordered a temporary shutdown of casinos and video gaming terminals effective Friday at midnight as the state tries to contain a recent spike in Covid-19 cases.

The closure of all casinos and gaming operations is part of a larger order which includes reduced capacity for indoor shopping. Illinois has reported more than 10,000 new confirmed Covid-19 cases for 12 straight days.

The shutdowns will likely lead to mobile sports wagering earning an even greater slice of the state’s handle for the month of November.

In September mobile sports wagering accounted for 93% of the $305m bets placed. Mobile sportsbooks succeeded despite an initial attempt to limit registration to in-person only.

Illinois has temporarily granted bettors the ability to register through mobile devices, a ruling which will certainly remain in place now that brick-and-mortars are closing for the foreseeable future.

Rush Street Interactive operated BetRivers Sportsbook led the Land of Lincoln in September with handle of $113m, or 37% of the market share.

DraftKings Sportsbook was second with $98m of handle and FanDuel Sportsbook right behind at $79m.

DraftKings and FanDuel both partnered with retail sportsbooks and lost out on potential customers when Illinois still had its in-person registration mandate in place.

The two online sportsbook behemoths are catching up to RSI as customer access widens.


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