Daily fantasy sports and sports betting giant DraftKings has begun an email campaign in Illinois, seeking help from locals to petition Gov. J.B. Pritzker to reinstate Executive Order No. 41.
Prtizker’s E.O. 41, which dissolved the state’s in-person requirement for online sports betting accounts, was notably allowed to expire on July 24, 2020. Presently, Illinois residents who wish place online sports bets will again have to show up at their local casino to validate their accounts.
DraftKings’ email campaign was sent to Illinois residents who will be able to fill out their contact information to auto-generate three emails to their State Representative, State Senator, and Governor. The auto-generated emails contain strong language in support of digital registration for sports betting and entreat its recipients to suspend the in-person registration requirement in Illinois for good.
Online sports betting options in Illinois are currently limited to DraftKings which operates out of Casino Queen which is located in East St. Louis and BetRivers which operates from Des Plaines’ Rivers Casino. Both casinos offer retail sportsbook locations within their premises. The other retail sportsbooks in Illinois are William Hill—located at the Grand Victoria Casino in Elgin and the in-house sportsbook of the Argosy Casino Alton.
Legal Sports Report
There are three other casinos and one racetrack in Illinois with sports betting licenses: The Hollywood Casinos located in Aurora and Joliet, and East Peoria’s Par-A-Dice, as well as the Hawthorne Race Course, whose sportsbook is partnered with PointsBet. All four venues have yet to receive Provisionary Wagering Status, which means they are presently unable to take any sports bets.
Region 4 an Illinois Hotspot for COVID-19
DraftKings’ campaign to roll back the lapsing of digital registration comes on the heels of its Casino Queen operations being hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Casino Queen and Argosy Casino Alton are located in Region 4, which is comprised of several counties with a COVID-19 positive test rate of at least 8%. Due to the high positive test rates, Region 4 casinos are limited to just 25% of their normal capacity, down from 50% when the positive test rate was lower.
Consequently, both Casino Queen and the Argosy Casino Alton will be closing at 11 PM for the next two weeks.
DraftKings, whose retail sportsbook launched in August 5, has attempted to ease the in-person registration requirement by seeking the help of GeoComply’s Pinpoint Solution to allow punters to register in-person from their parking lot to reduce crowding inside Casino Queen.