Illinois Sports Betting Bill Passes, But With Online Restrictions

  • Illinois lawmakers passed IL SB 690 in the last day of the legislative session.
  • This bill will allow for retail and online sportsbooks to open.
  • Governor J.B. Pritzker will likely sign the bill later this month.

SPRINGFIELD, Ill – Illinois lawmakers passed a sports betting bill in the very last minute.

The legislative session for Illinois should have ended last Friday. The State House received a bulletin notice that they would meet until Sunday. This gave sports betting the time it needed to pass in Illinois.

Previously, Rep. Mike Zalewski was in charge of sports betting. On Friday, Rep. Robert Rita took over and introduced new sports betting legislation. Rita introduced several amendment into IL SB 690. The original bill had nothing to do with sports betting. The amendments turned IL SB 690 into sports betting legislation.

The bill first went to the floor of the Senate on Saturday. IL SB 690 passed with an 87-27 vote. On Sunday, the bill passed the House with a 46-10 vote. Now the bill is heading to Governor J.B. Pritzker for his signature.

The Future Of Illinois Sports Betting

Sports gambling will become available everywhere in Illinois. New and old casinos will have the ability to open a sportsbook. This means that the new casino in Chicago will be able to open a sportsbook as well. Racetracks and other sports venues will also have the ability to open sportsbooks.

On top of the retail locations, all of these locations can open an online sportsbook. Online and mobile sportsbooks will be available statewide, so gamblers can place their bets anywhere.

There is a slight catch with online wagering. To register for an online sportsbook, customers must first go to the retail location. This requirement will remain in place for the first 18 months of sports betting. This is not the only online restriction.

Online operators such as DraftKings and FanDuel will have to partner with existing casino operators during this timeframe. Details of how working under another casino brand would pan out are still unclear.

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"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," said DraftKings CEO Jason Robins.

In another controversial move, there is a mandate on official league data usage. Sportsbooks will have to use official league data for in-game wagering and prop bets. Illinois is one of the only states that gives leagues some control over sports betting.

There is also some restriction on collegiate sports wagering. Sportsbooks cannot offer odds and wagers on Illinois-based college games. Illinois sports bettors can bet on all other college games.

Governor Expected To Sign Sports Wagering Bill

Governor Pritzker is more than likely going to sign the sports wagering bill into law. Pritzker often voiced that he is a supporter of sports wagering legislation. He included sports betting into his budget proposal saying it would bring in $217 million for the state. The taxed sports betting revenue will go to construction projects for the state.

"Thanks to Governor Pritzker's leadership, and the weekend overtime hours put in by the General Assembly. We are excited by the legalization of sports betting," said Richard Schwartz, President of Rush Street Interactive.

Pritzker is likely going to sign the sports wagering bill later this month. Due to the last-minute push, knows it may take a little while before sportsbooks can open in Illinois. To maximize sports betting revenue, sportsbooks will want to open before the football season begins. We will likely see sportsbooks open in Illinois before 2019 ends.