SportsHandle and friends deliver another round-up of the week’s big developments in US sports betting.

Pritzker Suspends In-Person Registration For Illinois Mobile Sports Betting

(This is a developing story)

Sports bettors in the state of Illinois may have easy access to mobile sports wagering much sooner than expected, thanks to an executive order issued by Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Thursday. While no legal digital sportsbooks are yet live in Illinois, one or more could get a green light to launch later this month.

Pritzker, who legalized sports betting in the Land of Lincoln nearly a year ago when he signed a $12 billion capital bill into law, signed Executive Order 2020-41 Thursday. It recognizes that “Illinois residents may not be able to appear in-person at a casino” since there have been no definitive social-distancing guidelines established to re-open the casinos due to the COVID-19 pandemic and “will reopen only when safe to do so pursuant to the Restore Illinois plan.”

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DraftKings Lands Partner For Michigan Sports Betting, For Online And Branded Retail Sportsbook

DraftKings and the Bay Mills Indian Community on Thursday announced a partnership that will give the Boston-based company market access to bring its DraftKings Sportsbook online in Michigan, and will also allow it to outfit a branded sportsbook lounge at the Bay Mills Resort & Casino, located in the city of Brimley in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. DraftKings’ eventual launch of online and ribbon-cutting at the casino are subject to proper regulatory approvals from the Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB).

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California Quagmire: Sports Betting Moves, But With Heavy Opposition

California lawmakers took a small step toward legalizing sports wagering in what is projected to be the biggest market in the U.S. and one of the biggest in the world, but not before tribal interests used words like “odious,” “betrayal,” and “extinction” in loudly voicing opposition.

The Senate Governmental Organization Committee voted 9-3 on Wednesday afternoon to send amended SCA 6 to the Appropriations Committee. The bill would effect a constitutional amendment that Californians would vote on via referendum in November. The two-plus hour hearing was dotted with technical delays and reminders to senators to keep their masks on. Opponents and proponents of the bill were mostly relegated to making their cases via phone as the Senate imposed strict social-distancing measures.

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NYS Gaming Commission Extends Deadline On Gaming Market Study

Citing the unprecedented impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the gaming environment in the Empire State, the New York State Gaming Commission announced Monday that it has granted an extension to Spectrum Gaming Group for the submission of a closely watched state gaming-market study.

On Monday, following months of anticipation, Spectrum Gaming Group was scheduled to submit the final report of the study to the commission amid intense debate on the future of mobile sports betting in New York. Spectrum Gaming, a non-partisan consulting group that focuses on the economics, regulation, and policy of legal gambling, won the right to conduct the study last November after beating out two others. Two months earlier, the Gaming Commission devoted a small paragraph to mobile sports betting in a 157-page Request For Proposals (RFP). 

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A Return To Normalcy, But On No Set Date, Is In Sight For PA Casinos And Tracks

Pennsylvania officials have provided the first authorization for casinos and racetracks to begin reopening, but no specifics were yet being offered Monday morning on when that will occur.

Gov. Tom Wolf issued two separate messages late last week that kicked off plans to reopen facilities that have been shut down since mid-March. They won’t open immediately, however, and casinos and horse tracks in some parts of the state will resume ahead of others.

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