On Sunday the State of Illinois became the 13th state in the USA to legalize sports betting. This made them the fifth state to pass this legislation this year. The new law is currently on the desk of Governor J.B. Pritzker. There is no doubt that he will sign off on it since he was already in favour of it. Pritzker sees sports betting as a means to fund multiple capital projects.
The Democratic Senator of Indian Creek, Terry Link has been pushing this bill. He is relieved about approval thereof as he was pushing for it to happen for almost 20 years. The passing of this bill would be immediately followed by the establishment of six new casinos in the state. This, together with legalized sports betting, is estimated to bring the state an income of around $12 billion in the period over the next six years.
The economic injection created by the construction of six new casinos is not only considered as bringing in dollars to the state but also creating thousands of jobs. Estimated figures regarding job creation in a country which needs employment, are around 10 000 new jobs.
Funds raised from taxes on gambling through betting licenses, new casino’s and increased tax on video gambling machines are earmarked for the improvement of infrastructure, the renovation of state buildings, building schools and universities and improving the lives of the people of Illinois.
The Near Future
The bill specifies that online operators will have to wait an 18-month period which gives a head start to local, existing and new sportsbooks. In short, this means that online sportsbooks will only be allowed to operate at racetracks, casinos and professional sports stadiums if they are doing so as part of the specific brand of a physical sportsbook. This would mean that online sportsbooks like DraftKings would only be able to run immediately if they do so as contractors for Caesars. Then they would also be operating under the name of Caesars and not under DraftKings.
After the 18 months has expired, the intent is to award three online licenses which would be considered master licenses. The price tag to such a license would be up to $20 million each. These would be awarded to online sportsbooks and stand-alone mobile sportsbooks. Until then online brands like FanDuel and DraftKings would be operating under another banner and not their name.
The bill places a ban on placing bets on college teams of Illinois. This is irrespective of what game they are playing. It also states that tax would be at 15%. Another requirement is concerned with official league data. Tennessee was the first state which, since May, is requiring that official league data needs to be purchased. This is the same restrictions which Illinois would have to follow. With this bill approved, the face of gambling is bound to expand dramatically. Funds earned and jobs created can only be to the benefit of the people of Illinois.