In person online sports betting registration could hurt the new Illinois sports betting market.

  • Illinois will be finally be offering sports betting come March, nine months after the pastime was legalized.
  • The Prairie State requires all residents that wish to gamble on sporting events from their mobile phones to first sign up in person.
  • Online sports betting company 888 Holdings has said that this rule could hurt the sports betting market in Illinois.

CHICAGO – The long-awaited Illinois sports betting platforms are slated to launch by next month but the in-person registration rule to access mobile sportsbooks could prove to have a negative impact on the market.

Per Illinois sports betting law, all sports bettors that want to use the mobile and internet sports betting applications must first register their accounts in person. However, this rule is only applicable through the first 18 months after the launch.

What This Rule Could Do To The Market

Internet gambling provider 888 Holdings has said that a rule like that of in-person registration could be detrimental to the amount of engagement that occurs through these mobile applications.

Why would someone that wants to conveniently bet on sporting events from wherever they are want to go out of their way and drive to a casino to sign up for an account first? Instead, business will likely go to offshore sports betting sites where everything can be done remotely.

“If you’re sitting at home, you have the choice of betting with an illegal operator or driving 45 minutes into a casino and registering a bet on your mobile device, it’s a no-brainer,” said Yaniv Sherman, head of commercial development for 888 Holdings.

States that have used this rule have seen much smaller handles than those that have allowed their residents to sign up using their mobile devices. Illinois may be heading down the same path of minimal activity through their mobile sportsbooks like states before them that have implemented this rule.

What makes matters worse is the fact that casino locations are not as convenient in terms of location. They are typically further than a 20-minute drive for most residents, making it so mobile and internet options are the most appealing.

While 888 Holdings would like to offer their services in Illinois, they plan to wait until the 18-month rule is over before doing so. By waiting, they will likely receive more business when everything can be done from phones and computers.

Entering the market at this point could potentially see a loss of profits as sports bettors flock to offshore sports betting websites for their mobile sports betting needs.

This rule became part of the law due to an issue from 2015 when DraftKings and FanDuel allowed residents of Illinois to bet on Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) which was not legal at the time.

Because of that, lawmakers sought to make all gamblers that want to wager using cyberspace to first signup in person.

Illinois expects to launch its sportsbooks in time for March Madness. It’s taken the state nine months since legalization to roll out their platforms for public use. But finally, sports bettors in the Prairie State will get to place their first legal bets in the state come March.

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