On Friday, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker issued a Gubernatorial Disaster Proclamation. This proclamation rescinded the remote registration process for mobile sports betting in the state. The change in the registration process as just made back in June. As of today, players will no longer be able to sign up for an account online.
The sudden turnaround was shocking to the sports betting market, as DraftKings was preparing to launch its mobile app. The company received a license last week but the Casino Queen, its land-based partner, still needed to obtain certification.
Effects of the Change:
Originally in Illinois, players who wanted to take part in mobile sports betting had to sign up at a land-based casino. This was not ideal, but doable. However, once the coronavirus pandemic began and casinos shut down, players had no way to sign up for a new account.
On June 8, the governor lifted the in-person registration mandate so that the sports betting industry could continue to bring in revenues. Casinos were allowed to reopen by July 1, so it seems the governor felt the online signup option was no longer needed.
DraftKings must now decide if they will continue with the launch of their mobile app or scrap it. DraftKings as well as FanDuel already had to work around restrictions to enter the new sports betting market. Because the two companies are major providers, they could wait 18 months and then bid for a $20m untethered license. They could also choose to partner with a casino in the state and launch under the casino brand.
DraftKings of course decided to partner with Casino Queen and rebranded its offering as DraftKings at Casino Queen. The company has been preparing to launch, having started a social media campaign over the weekend that provided pre-registration offers.