Per Illinois law set in 2019, casinos are allowed to offer virtual sportsbooks with a $10M license fee, amongst other regulations including a 15% tax and a $1M renewal fee. There is already legal sports betting in the state.
Many casinos are expected to offer their services for sports betting, but mobile-only operators have to wait at least 18 months, per Illinois law. This means you will not see FanDuel or DraftKings in Illinois until at least 2021.
Nevertheless, with over 85% of the total money wagered in states such as New Jersey, mobile betting will be available and with options aplenty. With legal sports betting available in Illinois, mobile will be the next step.
When Can I Bet Online?
There is no absolute timeline for exactly when mobile sports betting will be ready in Illinois, but steps continue to be taken to ensure it is a matter of when, not if.
The Illinois Gaming Board (IGB) announced in mid-December 2019 that phase one of the application process is live and available. This means that operators can begin to apply, and it begins the process of the inevitable.
IGB administrator Marcus Fruchter says: “There’s not a timeline because we don’t want to set goals and deadlines that are arbitrary. The goal is to get a sports wagering system that is correct, not a sports wagering process by an artificial deadline.”
With that being said, expect mobile sports betting to be available in 2020.
DraftKings and FanDuel (among others) will not be in Illinois in 2020, but casinos that have land-based operations are allowed to have a mobile structure. This means that BetRivers, from Rush Interactive, will have a head start in Illinois.
Where Can I Bet Online?
Expect there to be plenty of options to bet online in Illinois, but it will take quite some time for a full array of choices to be implemented in Illinois with the 18-month rule. This rule prevents mobile-only operators from entering Illinois for the first year and a half in the state.
Expect some of the following operators to be ready soon after the launch of mobile sports betting in Illinois.
- Hawthorne Race Course (via PointsBet.com)
- Casino Queen
- Grand Victoria
- Harrah’s (potential online app for Caesar’s)
- Hollywood Casino
- Rivers Casino Des Plaines (online app for BetRivers)
Remember, betting kiosks will be available from the Illinois Lottery in 2020 as well, at multiple venues including:
- Wrigley Field
- Guaranteed Rate Field
- Soldier Field
- United Center
- SeatGeek Stadium
- Chicagoland Speedway
- World Wide Technology Raceway
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