Three months ago, right before the coronavirus pandemic started to spread throughout Illinois, sports betting became legal in the state for the first time. Not ideal for anyone, but this hits hard for online sports betters in Illinois!
Sports bettors got excited about all the potential bets they could make and then they were devastated by the news that most sports leagues were canceled to prevent the spread of the virus.
On June 5, Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed an executive order that gave bettors permission to register for online sports betting accounts from home. The previous gaming expansion bill required bettors to register at racetracks or casinos in person before they were allowed to create an account and bet from home. For the safety of the residents, the governor decided to temporarily change the policy on this.
Marcus Fruchter, the Illinois Gaming Board administrator, said this in a recent interview,
“Governor Pritzker’s executive order allows Illinois sports fans to temporarily place wagers from the safety of their own home, protecting a revenue source that is critical as the state begins to recover from the damaging financial impact of COVID-19.”
The Illinois Gaming Board won’t be opening any casinos until they feel it is safe to do so, so online betting will be the next best option.
Despite the governor’s latest change, Illinois natives won’t be able to place a bet just yet. Seven casinos and three racetracks have applied for sports betting licenses, but only two casinos have been granted temporary ones so far. They will also have to apply for an additional license to be able to offer online betting and neither casino has submitted those forms yet.
The exact details of what sports will be available to bet on and what types of wagers will be available in the future is unknown at this time. However, the gaming board does have plans to discuss these questions and more during their next meeting on June 11. This will be their first time gathering together since January 30. Hopefully, we will have more information for you after the details of this meeting have been released.
Illinois is making strides towards offering sports betting options for their residents, but they aren’t ready quite yet. Once the casinos apply and get approved for the appropriate licenses, things can move forward.
Residents of Illinois can safely sign up for online sports betting accounts from the comfort of their own homes to get ready for when sports betting finally becomes available. Hopefully, this happens sooner rather than later!