Mobile Sports Betting Launches in IllinoisPublished July 3, 2020 by Elana K
Illinois online gambling has finally launched, mainly due to an executive order signed by Governor J.B. Pritzker. The governor’s hope is that even a small amount of sports betting can help the state climb slowly out of its $2.7 billion deficit.
Illinois online gambling has finally launched, mainly due to an executive order signed by Governor J.B. Pritzker. Last year, Pritzker signed a gambling expansion bill that included legal sports betting, but the requirement for mobile betting was that registration needed to be in-person first. When in-person sports betting launched in Illinois three months ago, mobile sports betting wasn't yet up and running. However, due to the coronavirus outbreak, Pritzker moved quickly to sign an executive order that would allow mobile betting without in-person registration. The measure is meant to be temporary, but at this point, it’s unclear how long it will be in place.
Both the first in-person bet and the first mobile bet were made via Rivers Casino in Des Plaines, which partnered with Rush Street Interactive for its mobile operation.
“We are excited to make history in bringing the first online sportsbook to sports fans in our home state just in time as American sports are coming back into action,” said Rush Street Interactive president Richard Schwartz.
The gambling expansion law passed last year gave casinos a headstart over online-only giants like DraftKings and FanDuel. The latter two need to wait 18 months after the first mobile bet has been placed before they can even bid for licenses.
While there’s not much to bet on, avid sports gamblers can at least get access to whatever sports are available. At this point, that includes NASCAR, pro golf, and Spanish soccer, among others. The governor’s hope is that even a small amount of sports betting can help the state climb slowly out of its $2.7 billion budget deficit.
Sports betting revenue at most Illinois casinos is taxed at 15% while others have to pay an additional 2%. Once pro sports resume, sports betting has the potential to generate $100 million in taxes annually.