Sports Betting Discussions Find Their Way to Illinois

  • Illinois Gaming Board launches public consultations on regulated sports betting
  • The consultation commenced on August 27 and will carry on until September 27, aiming to gather input from the public, the gambling industry and any other stakeholders
  • Marcus Fruchter, an Illinois Gaming Board administrator, said that the consultation is an important step in the creation of a regulatory framework on sports wagering

“In order to make the process of rule creation as transparent and independent as possible, it is important that the public and various stakeholders have an equal opportunity to submit comments about the Sports Wagering Act contained in P.A 101-0031.” Fruchter added.

Illinois’ Gaming Expansion Bill

At the end of June this year, Illinois state governor J.B. Pritzker signed the Senate Bill 690, also known as the gaming expansion bill, into law. This measure came as part of Pritzker’s capital plan to Rebuild Illinois, which entails a $45 billion dollar investment in state infrastructure and educational programs.

The new legislation made sports betting and online gambling legal in the Prairie state, joining in on the regulated sports wagering wave, still gathering momentum over the United States. The gaming expansion bill outlines a fee structure according to which a $10 million license fee grants operators the legal right of operating casinos and racetracks, while a $20 million fee grants a license for offering online wagering services. Other sporting venues, such as large scale stadiums, will also be allowed to secure sports wagering licenses for a $10 million dollar fee, which will include the right to service mobile wagers within a five block radius of their respective locations. A tax of 15% on gross revenue will be imposed on licensees.

Additional perks for the gambling industry and its supporters include the spread of slot machines over the states’ racetracks and two airports – O’Hare and Midway. The bill also paved the way for six new land-based casinos to commence operations оn state territory, one of those intended for the Windy City itself. Alas, though, a recent report disillusioned the otherwise very thorough initiative driven by Chicago Mayor Lightfoot, concluding that all five previously proposed locations are “financially unfeasible”.

Sports Betting Consultation

While neighbor state Iowa is already making wagers on sports events and Indiana is soon to follow, the Illinois Gaming Board has taken, once more, a more democratic approach having launched a public consultation, which, as already described, aims at gathering public opinion, that of gambling industry representatives and any other stakeholders on how to best develop their regulatory framework for regulated sports betting.

Although it is yet unclear when Illinois intends on having a functional regulatory model on sports betting, the Gaming Board has declared that after the one month consultation period has gathered all comments it will post all comments on their website.

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