Illinois Bettors Can’t Use Indiana As A Workaround For In-Person Registration

Posted on April 23, 2021

Illinois residents can no longer sign up for a sports betting account from the comfort of their homes.

That’s been the case ever since Gov. Pritzker ended mobile registration in the state almost a month ago.

Gamblers have to visit an actual casino in order to sign up for an online sportsbook now.

That’s awful news for Illinois gamblers, but can Indiana provide a workaround?

Pritzker ends mobile registration

Illinois law does not allow gamblers to sign up for sportsbooks online.

However, Gov. Pritzker issued an executive order to change that during the pandemic.

That let gamblers in Illinois sign up for sportsbooks from home, keeping them safe from potential COVID problems.

Pritzker renewed that order every month to keep the sports betting party going.

Everything changed for the state when Pritzker decided to let the executive order expire.

Now, gamblers have to visit specific casinos in order to sign up for sportsbooks.

That’s incredibly inconvenient if, let’s say, you want to sign up for DraftKings but you live two hours away from its Illinois casino partner.

It could be a long time before mobile registration returns, so Illinois gamblers might have to prepare for the long haul on this one.

Sportsbooks work in multiple states

Some sportsbooks have a convenient feature that can help gamblers.

Companies like DraftKings and FanDuel allow user accounts to work in multiple states.

In other words, if you sign up for FanDuel in Michigan, then your account will still work in Indiana.

That’s different from online sportsbooks like William Hill, which have its own separate app for every state it operates in.

So if you sign up for DraftKings in Indiana, you’ll be able to use your same account in Illinois….if mobile registration returns.

It’s not much of a consolation prize, but at least it keeps things simple for gamblers that are already in a messy situation thanks to the state’s handling of things.

Can’t use Indiana to avoid in-person registration

In a perfect world, you’d be able to sign up for an online sportsbook in Indiana, and then have your account work once you return to Illinois.

Unfortunately for gamblers, that is not that case.

Signing up for Fanduel

Some sportsbook accounts do transfer from state to state, but the in-person registration requirement will stop you from making the most of that feature.

If you create a sportsbook account in Indiana, the company will stop you if you try to use it in Illinois.

Here’s a look at how FanDuel will greet you if you give this a try.

Indiana could have been the perfect work-around to avoid in-person registration.

Instead, gamblers still have to drive to a casino in order to sign up for online sportsbooks or get their existing account to work if they registered for it out of state.

Signing up for DraftKings

Gamblers that sign up for DraftKings in Indiana will run into a similar situation if they try to use their accounts in Illinois.

The sportsbook will take a day or two to verify your identity, but will still ultimately stop you from gambling until you register in-person.

Sports bettors will receive an email once the identity check is complete.

One gambler that gave this a shot received a message explaining that they had missed the deadline for signing up online.

That same email referred the gambler to an in-person casino to finish their registration.

“Since your account was not created and completed the verification prior to this deadline you will now need to be geolocated at our retail DraftKings location located at Casino Queen.”

More importantly, the company is urging gamblers to contact state lawmakers about the situation.

“We encourage you to reach out to your local state official and encourage them to let Illinois return to mobile verification to keep with the social distancing safety.”

After all, lawmakers are only ones that can fix Illinois sports betting.

Gamblers will be hung out to dry until online signups return to the state.

It’s a frustrating turn of events for new gamblers, who won’t get a chance to experience sports betting without jumping through unnecessary hoops.

You can’t use Indiana to avoid the situation in Illinois, but the Hoosier State can still lend a helping hand to some of those nearby gamblers.

Drive to Indiana for online sportsbooks

If you happen to live near the border, then driving into Indiana is your best sports betting option for now.

All it takes is a quick trip over the state line to sign up for a sportsbook with your phone and place a wager.

Sportsbook apps will notice the change in location once you’ve made your way to Indiana. You’re good to go as long as you’re within Indiana’s borders.

When you arrive, you’ll have 10 different Indiana sportsbooks to pick from.

That was the go-to option for Illinois gamblers before the state legalized sports betting.

People couldn’t wager at home, but a quick drive to the Hoosier State allowed sports fans to place their bets.

That’s still the case for gamblers in Ohio and Kentucky that travel to wager.

It’s not ideal for new gamblers in Illinois, but it’s something to work with for now while the state sorts its situation out.

Illinois boosts Indiana sports betting

Indiana has always received an out-of-state boost from visiting gamblers.

Originally, Indiana was the only state in the Midwest with sports betting.

That monopoly kept gamblers coming to place their bets online. Driving over the state line was always the easiest option.

That monopoly started to disappear once Illinois and Michigan legalized sports betting.

Things taking a step back in Illinois could be good for Indiana’s market.

With less competition nearby, the Hoosier State will once again have gamblers from Illinois visiting to place their bets.

More money in Indiana’s system means a higher sports betting handle for the state.

Hoosiers wagered over $316 million during March, and some Illinois travelers undoubtedly contributed to that handle.

Indiana will continue to enjoy the extra boost to its numbers until Illinois brings back online sportsbook registration.

Photo by Dreamstime
Jake Garza Avatar
Written by
Jake Garza

Jake Garza is a sports writer based in Indianapolis, IN. He's an Indiana University graduate who's spent time as a sports reporter covering teams at the prep, collegiate and professional levels.

View all posts by Jake Garza