Illinois sportsbooks want in-state collegiate sports wagering

  • Illinois lawmakers are looking to amend their current sports betting laws to include in-state college sports wagers through House Bill 849.
  • Government officials are also hoping to rid the state of in-person registration for mobile sportsbooks.
  • There is a month left in the legislative session to pass the requested amendments.

CHICAGO – The Illinois General Assembly adjourns for 2021 on May 31, but the issue of amending the present sports betting laws is currently receiving some focus. People may think that sports wagering in Illinois is already a highly profitable market so what changes could possibly be requested by lawmakers?

The House Executive Committee met on Wednesday where changes to the regulated sports betting industry of the state were discussed.

Changes That Have Been Requested

House Bill 849 was first introduced to the Assembly on February 10. It hasn’t seen any movement since March and even then, none of these actions resulted in actual hearings where votes were taken. The measure asks that sportsbooks in Illinois be allowed to accept wagers on in-state college sporting events. Currently, Illinois college sports matchups are prohibited from bets.

This was a key subject for requested amendments to the Illinois sports betting laws. Collegiate wagers make up about 20% of all action seen with Illinois sports bettors and that’s without being able to gamble on their home school teams. Proponents argue that number could be greater if sportsbooks in the state were allowed to offer these bets to their customers.

The second amendment that advocates in the market, especially mobile sportsbook operators in Illinois, want to see is the removal of the in-person registration clause for mobile betting. Sportsbooks statewide believe they could see a lot more activity on their platforms if this part of the law were lifted. However, if no action is taken on this matter, it will end up being lifted on its own by the end of the year as it was only stipulated to last for 18 months from the launch of the market which occurred in March of 2020.

What’s Next For Illinois?

There are more backers than there is opposition in the Illinois General Assembly to make these changes to the sports wagering laws of the state. More focus is on House Bill 849 and moving it through the legislature for passage as the in-person registration issue is set to resolve itself this year without any action being taken. But if Illinois wants to see more revenue and handle through their state-sanctioned sportsbooks, additional discussions and an overall passage on IL HB 849 are needed because the consumer demand for in-state collegiate wagers is great as would be the profits for it.

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