The nation’s largest sportsbook operator, FanDuel Sportsbook, is getting ready to launch in one of the country’s most promising sports betting markets: Illinois.
FanDuel Sportsbook will launch online sports betting in the state through its market access agreement with Boyd Gaming. Boyd operates Par-A-Dice Casino in East Peoria, located in the center of the state about 40 minutes northwest of Bloomington.
Unfortunately for sports bettors in Illinois, there isn’t much reason to get excited about the launch unless you live nearby. Gov. JB Pritzker ended his suspension of remote registration in late July, which means bettors need to be on-site to complete their account creation.
FanDuel Sportsbook site lists Illinois plans
FanDuel Sportsbook’s official response on Illinois sports betting is no comment, for now. But there’s no need for confirmation when their own website listed the details.
The page, which included “sportsbook-IL-hidden” in the URL, is now removed from the site. But a cached version can still be seen through Google.
The page didn’t include many details about the launch. But it would make sense for FanDuel to want to be live in Illinois for NFL betting before the season starts Sept. 10.
There are still a few regulatory hoops to jump through as well. Par-A-Dice is still not approved for betting by the Illinois Gaming Board. FanDuel got its temporary operating permit in July.
Excitement dampened by in-person registration
It’s generally a plus for the growing US sports betting market whenever an operator launches in a new state. That should be doubly true for the country’s biggest sportsbook launching into what could be one of the top sports betting states, according to PlayIllinois.
But the fact that Pritzker wants everyone to leave their houses and head to a casino just to sign up for online sports betting during a pandemic makes this news harder to celebrate.
FanDuel, along with DraftKings Sportsbook and PointsBet, appeared to ramp up their Illinois plans when Pritzker suspended the in-person requirement in early June. All three were approved for their temporary operating permits the same week in July.
And then it ended
But less than two weeks later Pritzker decided not to renew the suspension, leaving many scratching their heads.
BetRivers was the only sportsbook to launch online in time for remote registration. But FanDuel may have gotten a few sign-ups in the time remote registration was still allowed after getting its license.
A FanDuel promo dated July 22 said Illinois sports bettors could sign up with FanDuel Sportsbook remotely even though the site hadn’t launched yet. July 31 was the projected launch date.