With the Chicago Bears set to start their 2020-21 season on Sunday, it’s a great time for the PointsBet Illinois Sportsbook to launch. The app and website are now officially live and accepting wagers in the Prairie State.
ILLINOIS – IT'S TIME‼️
PointsBet is now LIVE in Illinois.
— PointsBet Sportsbook (@PointsBetUSA) September 12, 2020
It’s a pivotal time for Illinois legal online sports betting apps, however.
The question for bettors in Illinois is which will last longer: Mitch Trubisky‘s time as Chicago’s starting quarterback or IL Gov. JB Pritzker‘s suspension of the in-person registration requirement?
It’s hard to handicap that race at the moment.
Details on the new live PointsBet Illinois Sportsbook
Many anticipated the news of this launch just prior to the Sept. 10 start of the NFL season. The NFL is the cash cow in terms of dollars wagered for the US sports betting industry.
Missing the start of the season would have amounted to forfeiting not only handle but market share to PointsBet’s competitors in the state.
Right now, those are:
William Hill currently operates a retail sportsbook at the Grand Victoria Casino in Elgin. It intends to launch online in Illinois at some point but has not yet made any announcements about when.
While the Android and iOS apps and the desktop website are now live for IL bettors, the retail components are still in the works.
According to a press release, the brick-and-mortar books at Hawthorne Race Course in Stickney and three off-track betting sites (Crestwood, Oakbrook Terrace, and Prospect Heights) “will soon debut.”
PointsBet is ready to tackle the Illinois market with a few aggressive promos for NFL bettors. If you’ve never wagered with the book in another state, you can take advantage of a risk-free first bet and a deposit match, for starters.
Even old hands at PointsBet can get in on some Bears- and NFL-specific specials for the first week of the season, however. Those are:
- Crowd Booster: For the Bears’ first three games of the 2020-21 season, the Bears spread will be boosted five points for every 200 bets placed.
- No Juice Saturdays: for every Saturday in September, the spread on every NFL game will be at an even money +100
While getting live before the Bears take the field is a win for both bettors and the book alike, the timing is also great because of Pritzker’s executive order. It’s only in effect for a few more days.
Illinois sports bettors should register online while they can
Even if you don’t plan to bet with PointsBet right away, there’s one big reason why you should go ahead and complete the easy, free and quick online registration. The time to do so is limited.
Pritzker’s executive order suspending the state’s face-to-face mandate for online sports betting account registration is currently set to expire on Sept. 19. Unless Pritzker extends it, in-person registration will resume that day.
At that point, you’ll have to visit one of the Hawthorne racecourses, like in Cicero, to register your account. While the in-person mandate will eventually sunset, it likely won’t until late 2021.
Go ahead and complete your registration, so you save yourself a trip. You won’t find any markets on how long Trubisky keeps Nick Foles on the bench, but you can find a myriad football futures at the PointsBet Illinois Sportsbook.