Analysis

Extension to remote registration boosts Illinois Wedge Index rating


Governor Pritzker extended remote registration capacity across Illinois and boosted the state’s Wedge Index rating in the process.

Illinois Governor JB Pritzker’s extension of remote registration capacity across the state has boosted its Wedge Index rating to sixth and is a significant measure in enabling the state’s nascent online betting industry to keep operating as land-based casinos remain fully or partly closed due to the pandemic.

Governor Pritzker recently extended Executive Order 2020-41 that enables remote registration. It was first issued in June and allows anyone without a mobile sportsbook account to register remotely for one, without having to travel to specific casinos to complete the process in person.

There are currently five sportsbooks offering online and mobile betting in Illinois. The state ranks at number 6th in the Wedge Index as it has not regulated online casino.

The remote registration is technically temporary. It is due to come into effect fully in September 2021, but if the pandemic closures continue, it is likely to be extended. With more brands likely to launch in the state in the coming months, Illinois could rise up further in the Wedge Index standings. 

Since being launched in June, around 230,000 Illinois sports betting accounts have been created through the remote registration scheme, according the Illinois Gaming Board. Those numbers have been a major reason behind the state reaching $52.5m in sports handle in July.

In-person registration for 18 months
Online registration was not supposed to come into effect until September 2021 as the state betting regulations included at least 18 months of in-person registration only. With casinos closed down because of the pandemic, state authorities allowed online registration in June, but did not renew the order in July.

This prompted rumours that state authorities were favouring Rush Street Interactive, a major Chicago-based supplier of online betting solutions that provides the Rivers Casino in Des Plaines, Ill, with the BetRivers sportsbook. It was the only online book operating in the state at the time. Rush Street Interactive denied the claims.

Remote registration returned in late August and has now been extended to October. Had the order not been introduced, state residents would have been required to travel major distances depending on which sportsbook they wanted to sign up with.

Regulated sports betting launched in March in the state, but players were required to register in-person at a physical casino for their online or mobile accounts.

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Jake Pollard

Jake Pollard is an experienced journalist and editor who has covered the online gaming and betting industry for many years. He has written for the leading media outlets as well as operators and suppliers in the igaming space. His current areas of focus are wide-ranging and include regulatory developments in the US, emerging markets in South America and how European countries are adapting to a decade of igaming regulation.

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