Illinois Sports Betting Rules Relaxed Amidst COVID-19 Pandemic
The past few months have been a crazy time in the US. When the coronavirus hit with full force, people began to panic. They bought food and toilet paper in large quantities, shutting themselves inside their homes. Regulations began to appear by way of stay-at-home orders and thousands of businesses shut down, including casinos. Over the past few weeks, states across the US have begun to relax some of their restrictions to get people back to work and out and about. In Illinois, the governor recently decided to relax a strict sports betting rule to open up the industry to those who are deciding to stay at home.
No In-Person Registration Needed
In general, the state of Illinois requires that all players register in person to take part in online sports betting. This is a rule that many disagree with but some states feel it is the best way to ensure that the person signing up is valid and not a minor. This week, Governor J.B. Pritzker decided to sign an executive order to temporarily relax the rule so that consumers can sign up online.
Sports betting began on March 11th in the state after the governor signed the Sports Wagering Act in July of last year. The bill required that during the first 18 months, players were to sign up at a casino to be able to access online sports wagering from a licensed provider. Of course, this was not an option soon after as casinos closed in the state due to the coronavirus.
With the new order, the requirement will be suspended. Players will be able to log online and register or use their mobile to do so. This order will remain in place as long as the Gubernatorial Disaster Proclamations are in place.
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Providing a Way to Bet
With this order, players can actually take advantage of sports betting. While there is not much to be on currently, the option allows players to get online and take a look at the sports betting offering in the state.
It is unclear as to when the order will be lifted or if the rules will remain in place as is once gaming facilities begin to open back up in the state. In May, the Illinois Gaming Board extended the closure of land-based gaming in the state. The cases of coronavirus were not slowing down, so the board did not feel it was safe yet to open back up.
A date for reopening has not been provided as of yet. Casinos in Illinois have been closed since March 16th. The closure was extended to April 30th and then extended again based on the trend in coronavirus cases.
At least for now, players can access the new sports betting market online without the stipulation of having to wait for a casino or sportsbook to reopen to sign up. This is a good option for players looking for entertainment as they remain shut inside their homes.