Players who want to bet online in Illinois will once again have to undergo the in-person registration process. This measure was temporarily suspended in the state due to the crisis caused by COVID-19 but it is now back.
The decision was made on June 27 when the state Governor made decision with regards to certain executive orders he had passed previously. However, the order which suspended the in-person registration wasn’t extended so people of Illinois who want to place their bets online will have to visit a land-based casino to open their user account.
Issues of Safety and Convenience
As of right now, there is one casino operator in the country that also offers an online betting app. The venue in question is Rivers Casino, which means that a fair number of players will have to travel a significant distance in order to comply with the law and open their account in person.
In addition to being inconvenient for many, this requirement is questioned as a potential safety hazard as well. Given the current state of affairs, players having to travel and undergo the process in person is certainly not in line with a number of safety measures that are being imposed left and right. So, it is possible that some of the decisions will be rolled back once again depending on the health situation in the state.
Rough Start for Online Betting
Illinois was one of the US states to introduce regulated online betting after the landmark decision by the US Supreme Court. The regulated betting market was launched in March of this year throught the Sports Wagering Act signed by the Governor Pritzker. One of the important provisions in this Act was that any person wanting to bet online would have to open their account in person with a licensed operator.
When the Coronavirus crisis started, Illinois shut down casinos across the country, which made particular provision impossible to adhere to. With online betting being the only possibility, the governor decided to issue an executive order which temporarily suspended the requirement of in-person registration.
Now, with casinos allowed to operate once again, albeit with reduced capacity and having to adhere to special measures, it was decided that there is no reason players can’t once again register in person.
Gambling & Hospitality Industries under Heavy Fire
In Illinois and across the US, the gambling industry was heavily affected by the coronavirus crisis. Shutdowns followed by gradual reopening with numerous restrictions certainly did no services to any gambling operators.
The hospitality industry in the state is suffering as well. According to latest reports, hundreds of thousands of jobs are currently on the line. If things don’t change for the better soon, the economy of Illinois could experience heavy damage that they’ll struggle to repair.
What future holds for the gambling sector is anyone’s guess at this point in time. There is an outcry in the States to focus more on the online segment, which would help remove many of the health risks and allow operators to change their business model.
The recent decision by the governor of Illinois doesn’t seem to be in the same vein, though. The in-person registration doesn’t just represent a health risk but will also likely serve as a deterrent for many players who would otherwise open an online account and bet from the comfort of their homes.
Of course, switching to the online model still doesn’t address all the currently existing issues. For one, many of those employed in the industry would still be out of work. Casinos would likely let go their waiting staff and many dealers who simply won’t be required in the new setup.
Unfortunately, there is no perfect solution for the crisis, at least for the time being, and gambling and hospitality industries aren’t the only ones affected by it. Many companies across the globe are reporting massive losses and are in danger of going out of business completely.
Moving forward, businesses and legislators will have to work together to come up with solutions that address these problems while also protecting employees and patrons. It’s a difficult challenge but it’s also the one that requires immediate attention and quick resolution.