HB 5561 could undo the legalization of sports betting in Illinois.

  • Lawmakers voted to legalize sports betting in Illinois in June of 2019.
  • A bill was recently filed to undo the legalization of sports betting in Illinois.
  • Before the proposal of HB 5561, sports betting was thought highly of when Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed off on it.

SPRINGFIELD, Il. — After having a positive outlook on sports betting since it was legalized in June of 2019, Illinois state rep. Allen Skillicorn proposed HB 5561, a bill that would put the legalization of sports betting in Illinois in jeopardy.

The proposal came not even a day after the Illinois Gaming Board (IGB) advanced their Phase 2 rules on sports betting to the state’s registry. Those rules will have 45 days to garner public comments.

SB 690 Is Passed In Illinois

Sports betting in Illinois passed when IL SB 690 was signed into law in June of 2019. Slow and steady progress on the rollout of the industry has occurred since then.

“Last June, the General Assembly passed and Governor Pritzker signed historic legislation expanding casino/racing gaming, video gaming, and authorizing sports wagering in Illinois. The Illinois Gaming Board has been working in an orderly and transparent way to enact gaming expansion that best serves Illinois and adheres to the Sports Wagering Act. Today’s release of phase 2 sports wagering to commence expeditiously and ethically across the State. We look forward to working with our industry partners to ensure that sports wagering in Illinois operate with high integrity in a manner that is compliant, accountable, profitable and fun,” said IGB Administrator Marcus Fruchter.

The phase 2 sports betting rules focus more on the financial funding and limitations of sports betting.

“The phase 2 sports wagering rule govern accounting measures, financial record requirements, commencement of wagering, prohibited wagers, types of events allowed, types of wagers authorized, conduct of wagering, house rules for wagering, internet wagering requirements, sports wagering accounts, responsible gaming limits, reporting prohibited conduct and official league data,” said the IGB.

Three casinos in Illinois have been granted temporary sports wagering licenses since the second phase of sports betting regulations has been set in motion. All three are aiming at launching their sportsbooks in time for March Madness betting.

HB 5561 Is Proposed

Sports betting might be in jeopardy after Allen Skillicorn proposed a legislation, HB 5561, that would completely overturn the legalization of sports betting in Illinois.

Certain provisions of the current law were seen as controversial at the time of IL SB 690’s passing as highlighted by Lori Lightfoot, Mayor of Chicago.

“I strongly support a gaming bill that directs a new casino and dollars to the city of Chicago. However, I Oppose the inclusion of a provision that would open up sports wagering in venues like Soldier Field—such a proposal has the potential to undermine the viability of any Chicago-based casino through the diversion of customers and revenue from a casino. Because the impact of sports wagering in stadiums has not been fully vetted or analyzed, I cannot support the bill in its current form and urge the deletion of this stadium-betting provision,” said, Lightfoot of IL SB 690 before it was ultimately passed.

The tax rate for sports betting in Illinois was originally proposed at 20% but was later brought down to 15% to try and lure in more operators. However, for sports betting operators in Indiana, the tax rate is at a much more enticing 9.5%.

Other provisions of IL SB 690 were arguable such as the 18-month-long ban on online operators in the state until after retail operations began taking in sports wagers.

However, the underlying motive behind HB 5561 being introduced is unclear and whether or not it will actually garner enough support to be passed by the legislature this year also remains questionable.

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