Illinois sports bettors can now place bets online

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Before Saturday, players would have to go to a physical sportsbook in order to finalize their registrations to place bets online.

Now, with a new move that took effect Saturday, they can do all of that at their fingertips.

The playing field of sports betting has now changed for those in Illinois, including a cut-down in commute times.

"It could be a pain because you got to go to some other casino in order to sign up, and if you don't live by one, you got to go way out of your way to go do it," a man named Williams said.

The move also makes it easier for players to join in to place their bets all from the comfort of their computers or mobile devices.

"The competition's a lot more even because anyone could go sign up, and basically, it's whoever is getting the best sign-up fee," said Teddy Sinal, a sports bettor.

The move came after Illinois approved sports wagering back in 2019. It was part of a gambling expansion bill. But, unlike most states, customers had to sign-up in-person.

Governor JB Pritzker eventually amended the bill last December. The state no longer has an in-person registration requirement, meaning online sports books like DraftKings and FanDuel can now compete for Chicago-area customers.

"We expect that this is going to boost all Illinois' sports betting numbers, meaning handle operator revenue and tax revenue. I'm predicting that, you know, I'm setting, kind of, the over-under for sports betting handling in March at about $900 billion, which would be a state record," said Joe Bozell, who is a lead analyst at PlayIllinois.com

Sports gamblers said they are eager for the new competition as they embrace a new handbook for the same old game.

"Obviously, bet responsibly. But, the good thing is to enjoy it. Have fun!" Sinal said.
Copyright © 2022 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.