People from Illinois sent the Illinois Gaming Board their opinions and questions about sports betting.

  • IL SB 690 was signed into law by Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker in June.
  • Sports betting in Illinois will first be available in the state’s racetracks, professional sports stadiums, and casinos.
  • The Illinois Gaming Board will take all public comments into consideration when drafting official IL sports betting regulations.

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Sports bettors and sports betting hopefuls in The Prairie State voiced their opinion to the Illinois Gaming Board.

On Friday, the Board released all public comments received on the upcoming industry from the 30-day period starting on August 27, 2019, to September 27, 2019. The document spans 347 pages and includes input from eventual license holders, professional athlete player unions, and sports fans from across the state.

“The IGB reviewing all submissions and will use these comments, where appropriate, to inform our sports betting rules, procedures, and policies,” said Marcus Fruchter, administrator for the Illinois Gaming Board in a press release.

Sports betting in Illinois was signed into law by IL Governor J.B. Pritzker in June. The bill, SB 690, allows the activity to be conducted in the state’s casinos, racetracks, and professional sports stadiums.

The bill will also allow online sports betting operators like FanDuel and DraftKings to do business in the state without the need to tether to a retail location. However, these types of business will have to wait 18 months after land-based sportsbooks open and pay double the cost of a licensing fee.

Provisions such as this are being discussed by the IGB and were the focal point for many of the submissions the IGB received.

“I think it’s a shame that ready-made companies like [DraftKings] and [FanDuel] have been barred initially due to a circular ruling from AG Madigan. Much like the current AG is dropping low-level marijuana charges because it is now legal, websites banned for providing a daily fantasy application should too be given a clean slate,” one local sports bettor wrote.

Other organizations, such as the Illinois Church Action on Alcohol and Addiction Problems, challenged the idea of mobile sports betting in IL altogether.

“How will you ensure that people are only gambling in IL? Geotracking is not always accurate. A California man was asked to forfeit $90,000 he won gambling online outside of the state of New Jersey,” the group wrote.

Companies who will be able to offer legal sports betting when given the green light by the IGB had a different take on the issue.

“Consistent with New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia, for online wagering, Penn respectfully requests and recommends that patrons in Illinois be permitted to utilize a pre-existing online sports betting account that may have been established in another state,” wrote Frank T. Donaghue, chief compliance officer of Penn National Gaming.

There are 17 states that have now legalized sports betting either through retail locations, mobile apps, or both. Neighboring states, such as Iowa and Indiana, have launched both. While the IGB decides on which sports betting policies to implement, IL residents may travel to either state to place their bets.

The next meeting scheduled for the Illinois Gaming Board is Thursday, November 7, 2019.

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