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Despite sports betting being legal in Illinois since June of 2019, online sports betting apps were not authorized there until a full year later, and ever since there have been some major complaints and drawbacks to the way the Land of Lincoln has regulated that mobile market.
Well, last Friday, a few of those shortcomings were finally addressed and fixed when Governor JB Pritzker signed HB3136 into law, a mini-gaming omnibus bill that overwhelmingly passed in both chambers during the fall veto session.
This updated sports betting legislation changes some fundamental aspects of how sports gambling is done in Illinois, including allowing mobile bettors to now register online and to allow betting on in-state college sports.
Things just got easier for Illinois sports bettors with the Governor’s signing of HB3136, since now they will be permitted to go online to register for mobile sportsbooks, a major convenience that was not afforded to them by law prior to this updated legislation.
One of the major drawbacks of the previous sports betting law was that it required bettors to register in person for an online account, which for some residents meant having to travel for hours to get to a physical sportsbook, a trip that for many was not feasible.
Remote registration did become available for much of 2020 when the start of the Covid-19 pandemic made it impossible to do much of anything in person, an exception made possible once Gov. Pritzker let Executive Order 2020-41 lapse, a quick fix that required a more permanent solution.
Lawmakers must have seen the direct correlation between that brief period of permittable online registration and a huge surge in the handle, and with Illinois reporting its all-time monthly handle of $840.4 million in October, making online registration permanent became priority one.
Another gambling shift brought on by this updated legislation involves in-state college betting.
With this new law in place, betting on Illinois college teams is now legal, as Chicago reporter Doug Wolfe tweeted last week, saying, “Pritzker signs law repealing in-state ban on Illinois college sports betting.”
Pritzker signs law repealing in-state ban on Illinois college sports betting – Chicago Sun-Times https://t.co/SwAc79Oluk
— Doug Wolfe – WAND TV (@WANDTVDoug) December 19, 2021
But unfortunately this new privilege comes with a caveat, which is that bettors must place their bets in person, and no live wagers can be placed on those in-state college games.
College sports gambling is big money in Illinois, accounting for almost $800 million in total bets in just the first ten months of 2021, so add to that wagers on in-state schools like Illinois, Northwestern, and Loyola Chicago now and that handle should exponentially increase.
With online sportsbook registration now available, expect the number of Illinois gamblers to also increase and continue to turn Illinois into one of the major sports betting capitals of the US, an honor that should also bring an ongoing financial windfall to the state.
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Mike Lukas is a retired standup comedian turned freelance writer now living in Dallas, Texas, originally from Cleveland, Ohio. His love for the game of football and all things Cleveland Browns turned Mike into a pro blogger years ago. Now Mike enjoys writing about all thirty-two NFL teams, hoping to help football gamblers gain a slight edge in their pursuit of the perfect wager. Email: [email protected]More info on Mike Lukas
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