FanDuel Sportsbook is now live for action in Illinois.
The third Illinois sports betting app didn’t waste any time getting up and running. The Friday launch came the same day the Illinois Gaming Board delivered an approval letter to FanDuel’s partner Par-A-Dice Casino, according to PlayIllinois.
The FanDuel Sportsbook app launching as quickly as possible makes sense. Gov. JB Pritzker recently renewed an executive order that allows remote account registration until Sept. 19.
Pritzker took heat for not renewing the initial order in July, which forced sports bettors to travel to casinos to sign up during the coronavirus pandemic. But fairness amongst operators was also cited by his press secretary Jordan Abudayyeh:
“Increased mitigation measures are impacting the capacity limits and hours of operation at casinos in regions seeing higher rates of the virus and online sports betting will allow for an even playing field across the industry.”
FanDuel Sportsbook not wasting time
There are a few reasons why FanDuel Sportsbook chose not to waste any time getting its Illinois operation off the ground.
First, NFL season is right around the corner with just 13 days before the league kicks off Sept. 10. That’s not a lot of time to get new customers signed up for NFL betting.
That’s not the most important ticking clock, though. Par-A-Dice sits in the middle of the state, about three hours from Chicago and two-and-a-half hours from St. Louis.
That makes the potentially brief remote registration period that much more important for FanDuel Sportsbook since its competitors BetRivers and DraftKings Sportsbook are located in major metro markets.
Illinois sports betting market getting interesting
Remote registration for Illinois sports betting wasn’t expected until next football season and potentially later. Now that it’s at least partially here, the Illinois market should begin to ramp up even faster.
And it’s expected to be a big market, too. PlayIllinois estimates total handle at maturity could be $11 billion annually with $650 million in gross operator revenue.
Not all of the significant players are live yet either. PointsBet, which became a national name overnight after partnering with NBC, will have a big presence near Chicago when it launches in the state.