Sportsbooks in Illinois with Illinois Gaming Board licensing.

  • The Illinois Gaming Board (IGB) has issued seven new sportsbook licenses to casinos in Illinois.
  • Fees from the licenses were able to give Illinois $40 million in instant revenue.
  • The odds of each sportsbook launching depends on additional approval from the IGB.

CHICAGO – Seven casinos were given their master license for legal sports betting operations by the Illinois Gaming Board (IGB) on Thursday.

Two casinos that were granted official licenses, Rivers Casino in Des Plaines and Argosy Casino Alton, had begun operations in March for a span lasting about the blink of an eye before being shut down by the COVID-19 outbreak.

They were able to take bets through temporary licensure issued by the IGB.

The five other casinos that were approved for legal sportsbook licenses on Thursday are Par-A-Dice Casino, Grand Victoria Casino, the Casino Queen, Hollywood Casino Aurora, and Hollywood Casino Joliet.

Governor J.B. Pritzker recently lifted the in-person registration stipulation for internet and mobile sports betting platforms in Illinois from the current sports betting law.

Having no known date for when casinos will resume business, Pritzker felt it was prudent to lift this rule in the sports betting law for now as the Prairie State is in a financial crisis.

However, just because he has omitted that requirement does not give sports bettors in the state immediate access to sign up for mobile sports betting accounts from home.

The IGB requires that all licensed casinos seek separate approvals if they wish to launch an internet or mobile sports betting platform.

This means that while seven casinos have now been greenlit to begin legal sports betting operations, they need to go through extra channels to offer online sports betting, as their retail books cannot open because of COVID-19.

The Instant Sports Betting Tax

Handing out so many licenses was quite the payday for Illinois.

The IGB was able to make $40 million in licensing fees. Over $250 million was made as gambling revenue in March by casino games alone – nowhere near the amount of money being supplemented by the licensing fees.

“Every licensee is treated independently and there is no set timetable to commence wagering. Requests will be granted once received if the licensees meet all necessary requirements,” said Joe Miller, Illinois Gaming Board policy director.

As soon as the newly licensed sportsbooks have chosen their operators for their mobile and internet applications and requested approval by the IGB, the ball is in the Board’s court as to when mobile sports betting will be able to launch with these businesses.

Illinois is in tremendous need of any and all revenue possible so quick approvals would be necessary. Not only that, but sports are also slowly coming back and sports betting in Illinois will help contribute to the comeback of the economy.

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