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  • Illinois Will Require New Sports Betting Accounts be Registered in Person
  • Governor Reverses Pandemic Policy Allowing Mobile Sign Up

This week, Illinois Governor JB Pritzker nixed mobile registration for online sports betting. One of the friendliest states for gamblers, this is a backwards step for the Land of Lincoln. Potential new wagerers will now need to visit a physical sportsbook to sign up to play online.

After Illinois regulated online sports betting in 2019, the law called for players to prove their identities. Bettors were required to head to a casino for Know Your Customer (KYC) checks and create an account. But due to the pandemic, Gov. Pritzker issued an executive order on June 4, 2020 allowing mobile registration.

Why Did Illinois Nix Mobile Sports Betting Sign Ups?

Essentially, Gov. Pritzker has made things the way they were supposed to be pre-coronavirus. But why make Illinois residents jump through hoops to register to play?


KYC compliance is designed to prevent fraud and money laundering from infiltrating Illinois sports betting. However, Chicagoans or downstaters already needed to go through KYC protocols when signing up online. Bettors had to provide a state issued identification to register for a new account.

Nonetheless, potential players – including those just turning 21 years old – now need to take additional steps. The state is reverting to its pre-pandemic guidelines because precautions are “no longer needed.”

Illinois Mobile Accounts for 95% of Revenue

One reason for the governor’s decision may be to benefit brick-and-mortar casinos. Due to the pandemic, Illinois casinos are hurting for patrons. Getting back to “normal” will require getting customers onto the gaming floors.

Illinois Gov. Pritzker

Governor JB Pritzker

Because the state’s mobile betting market is growing quickly, there is more leeway. Forcing new players to visit a casino will not likely cost Illinois much revenue. Instead, gamblers may boost casinos by visiting to sign up for mobile betting. With 95% of sports wagering revenue coming from online bets, casinos are desperate for in-person action.

There are ten land-based casinos in Illinois, so most players will not need to go far. Still, this is an inconvenience that seems unnecessary. Lawmakers may want to revisit this provision in the future.

For Illinois sports bettors looking to play without heading to a casino, we can help. Check out our reviews of the best sportsbooks where you can create an account entirely online!

Brad Vanderhide

Brad Vanderhide is an avid blackjack player and sports bettor whose only rule is to never wager on or against his beloved Cleveland Browns. With a background in politics, law, and government compliance, his writing provides a high-level overview of the changing online gambling landscape. As a native Ohioan, Brad cannot wait for his state to get out of its own way and open up legalized sport betting and online casino gaming.

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