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Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker
Illinois Lawmakers Rethinking Sports Betting Bill to Allow Online Registration
Steve Stadelman, the state’s Sen. and one of the original gaming bill sponsors from 2019, argued that there would be a new discussion that would allow for online registration again. He added that the earliest online sportsbook registration could open without a different executive order is in December.
Lawmakers in Illinois are thinking of coming up with legislation that would pave the way for the online registration of sportsbooks in the state. It comes just after Gov. J.B. Pritzker prohibited online registration last weekend, leaving the state’s operators with the less desirable in-person registration requirement.
Illinois is seen as one of the biggest potential markets for online sports betting in the nation, and prohibiting online registration, especially during the pandemic, raises significant concerns.
Joe Boozell, PlayIllinois.com’s lead writer, indicated that nixing online registration was a huge mess. He argued that he didn’t understand how such decisions could be made.
However, some lawmakers concur with the decision. Springfield Senator Steve McClure (R) indicated that the nation is still not out of the pandemic. Thus the executive order should not be allowed to expire.
Since the executive order was signed into law by Pritzker in mid-2020, the state has risen to the fourth regarding money gambled. Rockford’s Senator Steve Stadelman (D) asserted that online registration has grown in popularity, and it’s becoming an ideal plan for the future.
Stadelman sponsored the initial gaming bill right from 2019, and he argued that online registration is an excellent method if promoted safely and responsibly. However, there is a valid reason why the bill was designed that way, he added. He continued to argue that there was little chance that sports betting would have been legalized back in 2019, especially if in-person registration was not in the picture.
According to Stadelman, casinos require in-person registration to help drive foot traffic, something that has been devastated by the pandemic. Nonetheless, Boozell noted that without online registration, individuals might resort to their old habits. He added that the law is not ideal because people will turn to illegal apps.
For this reason, Stadelman indicated that the discussion to open online registration again would be complex with new legislation. Stadelman noted that it is essential to have another discussion following the effects of the pandemic.
McClure indicated that there is always an opportunity for another legislation popping up. However, since April is here, another major bill has a slight chance to come up anytime soon.
The earliest online sportsbook registration can be allowed in December without new legislation or an executive order.
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