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PlayUSA Rewind: Illinois Governor Does Away With Remote Registration

Written By Nicholaus Garcia | Updated:
People playing casino

At this rate, NY mobile sports betting might make the Rewind every week. The lawmakers in the Empire State just can’t get on the same page.

Some of the top stories this week include Illinois doing away with remote registration, a pair of sports betting bills failing, and a Michigan casino rewarding customers who have been vaccinated.

For even more coverage, be sure and follow @VisitPlayUSA | @reporternickg | @brantjames for all the latest insights.

On the rewind:

Illinois ends remote registration

The end of remote registration for IL online sports betting accounts has come to an end.

Gov. JB Pritzker announced Friday he would not renew Executive Order 2020-41, which allowed customers to register remotely for sports betting accounts.

The move is expected to drive traffic back to Illinois casinos – which is exactly what the brick-and-mortar establishments want. I’ll paint a picture: a person goes to a casino to register for a sports betting account. They get hungry and decide to buy some food. Then, they decide hell; I drove all this way, might as well enjoy myself for a while, and spend more money.

Sports betting will survive. But casinos all over the US must work to bring back their customer base after a lengthy absence. While ending remote registration isn’t the best for the sports betting industry, it will most certainly benefit retail locations.

The takeaway: Everyone knew this day was coming; we just didn’t know it would be this soon. With the amount of money the casino industry dumps into state coffers, it was only a matter of time before they got their way.

Georgia sports betting bill eliminated

Much like UCLA’s hopes, sports betting in Georgia was eliminated at the last second.

The bill was a long shot, but it overcame several major hurdles before ultimately dying on the House floor.

If the bill had passed, GA residents would have voted during the 2022 election on sports betting’s fate. Now, they will have to wait for the issue to be picked up next year potentially.

The takeaway: The winner of this political saga is Tennessee. Since no other surrounding states have sports betting, Georgia residents will have to continue traveling north to place bets in TN.

Kansas sports betting bill could be eliminated too

Kansas sports betting may have missed its opportunity to become legal.

The KS House Committee of the Whole voted down SB 84 by a 77-40 vote. The bill would have expanded the state lottery, allowed retail sports betting at all four commercial casinos, and permitted wagering at tribal properties across the state. Additionally, retail betting would have been taxed at 5.5 percent, and mobile sports betting would have been taxed at 8 percent.

There is hope in the form of HB 2444, a more online forward sports betting bill that could be the new vehicle in the state legislature.

The takeaway: The legislative session ends in May. There is time left on the clock, but it’s closing fast. The state needs to figure out if they can retool SB 84 or if they want to blow everything up and push a lottery-focused bill at the eleventh hour.

Is New York mobile betting a total mess?

Mobile sports betting in New York has finally been included in the state budget.

And it appears the victor is Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Or is it the state of New Jersey?

Unfortunately, Assemblyman Gary Pretlow and Sen. Joseph Addabbo Jr. were not able to convince the governor to move away from his state-run sports betting model.

The New York State Gaming Commission (NYGC) will open a competitive bidding process to select two “platform providers” to oversee four mobile sports betting skins. Beyond that, the rest of the bill is a dysfunctional mess — the likes of which will be analyzed and talked about for the remainder of the year.

The takeaway: On one hand, New Yorkers will finally have the ability to place bets from anywhere in the state. On the other, the Empire State is predicting a ridiculous $500 million in state revenue by year three. It will still be a few more months before the first bets are placed but the biggest question remains what sports betting will actually look like when it goes live.

Wyoming sports betting gets win

Sports betting in Wyoming is a signature away from being legalized.

After passing through the Senate by a 24-5-1 vote, HB 133 passed through the House with ease by a 36-20-4 vote. Now, the bill awaits a signature from Gov. Mark Gordon.

The bill legalizes online sports betting throughout the state, with bettors having access to at least five mobile sportsbooks. But for an operator to enter the Wyoming sports betting market, they must be active in three other states.

The takeaway: The Wyoming Gaming Commission plans to launch on September 1, which is right before the start of the 2021 NFL season. The state can now keep tax dollars from exiting into Colorado, Montana, and South Dakota – which have all launched sports betting.

Michigan leverages vaccination

A casino in West Michigan is giving customers $20 in free slot play for getting vaccinated.

Gun Lake Casino said guests who present their COVID-19 vaccination card would be presented with the promotion as a “special thank you.” However, the free slot promotion is for reward members only.

This is one of the first instances where a casino is offering free money to guests for receiving the coronavirus vaccine. Earlier in March, the Scarlet Pearl Casino in Mississippi announced they would be compensating workers $150 per vaccination shot they receive.

The takeaway: $20 in free slots can go a long way. It’s not a bad idea to offer customers an incentive to get vaccinated. Perhaps other casinos across the US might roll out similar promotions.

Market Teasers

Last week, Bally’s Corporation made Market Teasers after making a push to acquire Gamesys Group. This week, Sinclair Broadcast Group, one of Bally’s partners, is front and center after formally rebrandings its regional sports network. We also have the blank-check company Acies Acquisition, which is preparing for its merger with an online casino developer.

Sinclair Broadcast Group

$SBGI | $29.72 | -0.70% change

  • In the wake of sports betting, the consumption of sports is rapidly changing. To embrace this nationwide trend, the Sinclair Broadcast Group partnered with the Ballys Corporation and officially rebranded its regional sports networks as Bally Sports. A companion Bally Sports app is expected to launch soon giving subscribers access to local teams.

Acies Acquisition Corp.

$ACAC | $9.96 | 0.30% change

  • The brainchild of former MGM CEO Jim Murren, Acies is a blank check company to keep tabs on. Earlier this year, the company announced it would be merging with Playstudios, a social casino developer, with a target valuation of $1.1 billion. With experts valuing the online gambling industry at upwards of $40 billion, expect more SPACs to be formed in the near future.


**Market Teasers is not financial advice, nor am I a financial advisor. All figures were taken at April 5th’s market close.

Photo by Steven Senne / Associated Press
Nicholaus Garcia Avatar
Written by
Nicholaus Garcia

Nick Garcia is a senior reporter for PlayUSA. Garcia provides analysis and in-depth coverage of the gambling industry with a key focus on online casinos, sports betting and financial markets. Garcia has been covering the US gambling market since 2017. He attended Texas Tech University as an undergrad and received a Master of Arts in Journalism from Columbia College Chicago.

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