Illinois Gamblers Can Finally Sign Up For Sportsbooks Online Again

Online sportsbook registration is back for Illinois residents as of March 5. Gamblers in the state can finally sign up for betting apps from the comfort of their homes.

The long-awaited move could have an impact on Indiana’s online market.

Return of Illinois online registration

Illinois sportsbooks took their first wagers back in 2020.

At the time, gamblers in the state had to visit a casino in-person in order to sign up for an online sportsbook. After that initial registration trip, Illinois residents could use online sportsbook apps from their phones or computers.

However, the pandemic quickly began flipping everything on its head.

Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker suspended in-person registration in August 2020 as a health and safety measure. That opened the door for gamblers in the state to create sportsbook accounts without having to drive to a casino.

Hoosiers are well-accustomed to online sports betting, but it was a new arrival in Illinois at the time.

The golden age of convenience lasted until April 2021, when Gov. Pritzker did not renew his executive order to keep online registration in place. Since then, it’s been a long wait for gamblers in the state.

According to the sports betting laws in Illinois, in-person registration was going to continue until March 5, 2022. With that long-awaited day here at last, gamblers in the state can finally sign up for sportsbooks online again.

That’s fantastic news for residents in the state, but the change could end up affecting Indiana’s sports betting market.

Fewer gamblers driving to Indiana

Once upon a time, Indiana was the only state in the Midwest that had legal sports betting. The Hoosier State started taking wagers back in 2019, so it had a head start over the majority of the country.

That Midwest advantage is now long gone.

Michigan and Illinois now have sports betting markets of their own, with Ohio and Kentucky making progress as well. Before long, all of Indiana’s neighbors will be in on the fun.

In a nutshell, that will mean fewer gamblers are driving to Indiana to bet on sports. The end of in-person registration in Illinois will be the latest example.

Up until now, it’s been incredibly inconvenient you don’t happen to live nearby the correct casino that you need to sign up for the online sportsbook of your choice.

Since Indiana has quick online registration, it’s been easier for those living near the state line to take a quick trip over to Indiana to bet on sports. It only takes a few minutes to sign up and place bets from your phone once you’re in Hoosier territory.

All of that comes to an end now that Illinois gamblers can register for apps from their phones. It’s a hit to Indiana’s online business, but it shouldn’t be too big of a speed bump for a proven market.

Indiana’s market can hold its own

Time and time again, Indiana’s sports betting numbers have been able to hold their own against the competition.

Indiana’s numbers didn’t take a big hit when Michigan legalized sports betting, or during the first round of online registration in Illinois.

In fact, things are still on the rise in the Hoosier State overall. Indiana gamblers bet half a billion dollars on sports during January, which was a new record.

The numbers keep growing, even as new competition comes in from other states.

It shows that the state’s market is being held up by gamblers right here at home. A little extra business from nearby states is always welcome, but it’s never been the driving force before Indiana’s numbers.

To put it simply: Hoosiers love betting on sports. That should allow Indiana’s market to grow hand in hand with its western neighbors, even with the return of online registration.

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Jake Garza

Jake Garza is a US Gambling Industry Analyst for Catena Media. He specializes in Midwest sports betting and casino content. Prior to covering the legal gambling industry, he spent time as a professional sports writer, reporting on teams such as the Cincinnati Bengals, Indianapolis Colts and Indiana Pacers. Garza is currently working as a Managing Editor for Play Indiana and PlayOhio, with previous stops at other well-known brands such as PlayIllinois and PlayMichigan. He has been covering the gambling industry since 2019, and currently works with a team of other journalists to provide comprehensive coverage of the legal U.S. gambling industry.

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