- Sports betting in Illinois was passed by the state legislature as an amendment to the bill IL SB 690.
- Sports gambling will be legal through both retail sportsbooks and statewide mobile wagering apps.
- Illinois is the fifth state to officially legalize sports betting this year.
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Over three weeks have gone by since the state legislature passed a bill that would legalize sports betting in Illinois. But, on Friday, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker finally signed IL SB 690 into law officially making the Land of Lincoln the fifth state to legalize the activity this year.
IL SB 690 was part of a series of other bills aimed to fund the state’s $45 billion Rebuild Illinois Capital Plan. The plan is centered around transportation projects, but also includes funding for infrastructure, education projects, community development, and environment and conservation projects.
The plan is going to be primarily funded by a tax increase for cigarettes, gas, expanded casino gambling, and state-wide legal sports betting.
In a press conference held in Springfield on Friday, Governor Pritzker mentioned that the gaming expansion fueled by new casinos and sports wagering will provide valuable funding and resources that local towns need for public service programs.
Further details of his plans on gambling will be revealed in the coming days as part of his bill signing tour.
Governor Pritzker began his move on Friday morning in East St. Louis before making his way to Springfield in order to sign off on a package of bills. He will end the day with an afternoon stop in Joliet.
The Governor will continue to travel on Monday to Rockford, Chicago, and Waukegan according to the Chicago Tribune. Each area is proposed to be the site of a new casino as written out by the state legislature.
The tour will conclude on Tuesday with a trip to Walker’s Bluff Casino in Carterville and trip to a construction-themed event in Marion.
In February, Governor Pritzker allocated $200 million in his state budget proposal to come from sports wagering. The Illinois sports betting law will allow for the new gambling type to be available at casinos, racinos, stadiums, and even through state-wide online sports betting apps.
When To Expect Sports Betting In Illinois To Launch
While the signing of the bill does mean sports betting in Illinois is now legal, it does not mean that businesses can begin to accept sports bets.
The Illinois Gaming Board will still have to set up official rules and regulations which could take several months. For example, Washington D.C. originally signed sports betting into law in December of 2018, but it wasn’t until June 14, 2019, that regulations were put out for public comment.
The Board could instead take the route of Pennsylvania, and initiate temporary regulations in order to expedite the legal process. Wrigley Field is expected to start taking in sports bets at the start of next season.
In either case, as currently written, online sports betting companies will have to wait 18 months before being able to acquire a license to operate in the state.
This was put into effect as a means to give land-based casinos a head start into offering the activity and as a punishment for operators such as DraftKings and FanDuel for previously operating in the state without a license.
“While it is good to see sports betting bills passed, excluding DraftKings and FanDuel is like passing a ride sharing bill that excludes Uber and Lyft,” tweeted Jason Robins, CEO of DraftKings.
This may affect how much tax revenue the state can collect in the short term, but these provisions may be reworked once official regulations are set.
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– In his career, Hasan has worked both local and state government positions—including the Attorney General’s Office in Florida. On top of being familiar with the legislative process, he has also been researching and writing on the legality of sports betting across the US. Outside of work you’ll most likely find him producing or playing music, playing sports, or working on creative writing projects. You’ll also catch him at Doak Campbell Stadium cheering on the Noles.