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Game On For Illinois Sports Betting? Applications Available Next Month

illinois sports betting is coming

Illinois sports betting will take the next step in December when casinos, racetracks and stadiums should be able to apply for licenses.

Applications should be available by Dec. 19, the Chicago Sun-Times quoted Marcus Fruchter of the Illinois Gaming Board.

There’s no formal timeline for when sports betting could go live in the state, though it will likely be some time in 2020.

Illinois sports betting breakdown

Sports betting was approved as part of a massive gaming expansion bill earlier this year. It’s the same bill that could eventually bring a casino to Chicago.

There are multiple in Illinois that can be licensed to offer sports betting:

  • Casinos
  • Racetracks
  • Stadiums (up to seven)
  • Lottery vendors
  • Standalone mobile operators (up to three)

But those standalone mobile operators, like a DraftKings or FanDuel, have to wait a bit.

The three mobile-only licenses cannot be applied for until essentially 18 months after sports betting goes live in Illinois. They also come at a pretty hefty one-time license cost of $20 million.

The decision on who gets those three licenses will be made three months after those applications are received.

Other mobile operators will clearly benefit from a head start, but there’s a catch to that as well.

In-person registration required at Illinois casinos

Stop us if you’ve heard this before: in-person mobile registration can limit a state’s potential for sports betting revenue.

That’s why so many industry stakeholders pushed back against the in-person mobile registration requirement. The state held a public comment period and posted the responses.

That requirement won’t go away until the first standalone mobile license is approved, meaning almost two years of required in-person signup.

Look at Rhode Island for an example of how a market can be limited by in-person registration. Just 15% of handle came from mobile in September compared to 84% in New Jersey.

Indiana benefiting from slow rollout

You can look at Indiana sports betting revenues for September to see the appetite from Illinoisians.

More than 40% of Indiana’s handle came from two casinos that sit less than 25 miles from downtown Chicago. And Indiana sports betting apps got rolling in October.



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