Illinois House Member Michael Zalewski

  • Democratic House member Michael Zalewski has put forth a potential amendment to the initial bill for legal sports betting in Illinois.
  • This amendment would allow in-state college sporting events to be wagered on in Illinois.
  • Current regulations prevent sportsbooks from offering odds on collegiate events happening in Illinois.

SPRINGFIELD, Ill.Sports betting fans in Illinois may be able to wager on the Illinois Fighting Illini home games should a new amendment to the legal sports betting bill be approved.

The new regulations have been pushed forth by Michael J. Zalewski, Democratic Rep. of the House of Representatives, and would allow for wagering on in-state collegiate events; current law does not allow local sportsbooks to offer odds on any college game happening in Illinois.

Illinois sports betting fans can still bet on college sports, just not the games happening in the Prairie State. Zalewski is hoping to change this.

College Sports Betting In Illinois

With college basketball betting in full swing, lawmakers in favor of the bill are hoping to allow for more sports betting activity by including in-state games as well.

The newly amended bill, HB 0849, would allow sports betting fans in the Prairie State to wager on all games involving the 13 D-1 programs and seven FCS and FBS programs.

Zalewski initially pushed an identical bill, HB 5876, in January but the bill failed to make it to the Rules Committee and essentially died.

Zalewski is hoping that HB 0849 passes through. The conditions of the new bill would allow in-state college events betting to launch immediately, which would be just in time for March Madness betting.

March Madness is one of the biggest sporting events every year and is one of the biggest sports betting events as well. Most wagers yearly come from those betting on the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.

With the DePaul University Blue Demons, the University of Illinois Fighting Illini, the Northwestern University Wildcats, and the Northern Illinois University Huskies having solid seasons so far should they make the tournament that would be a lot of teams barred from being wagered on.

While the bill has to be approved, Zalewski feels confident that other state Representatives will feel the same way, and want the added sports betting revenue from in-state events.

Many legal sports betting markets have a similar ban on in-state games due to fear of cheating and point shaving. Should this amendment pass, other markets could be affected and may pass similar bills as well.

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