Following the Supreme Court’s decision to lift the federal laws that made sports betting outside of Nevada illegal (May 2018), the U.S. have been in anticipation, waiting to see what states would first start to legalise betting in sports, and how they would go about this, Casino Market reports.
Last Saturday, Illinois House passed the SB 690 bill 87 to 27, with the Senate also passing this the following day 46 to 10. The SB 690 is a bill that legalises sports betting throughout the state of Illinois, subsequently leading to extensive gaming expansions throughout. The bill has been passed through both the state’s House and Senate, and is now just awaiting a signature from governor J.B. Pritzker.
It is expected that J.B. Pritzker will be signing this very shortly, being a main advocate of the SB 690 bill. This bill legalises betting for sports, however the exact details of how this will be executed are yet to be announced. Any form of betting on the state’s college sports teams will still be banned.
It is unclear just when the SB 690 bill will be put into effect, however, when done, the state of Illinois will be taxing all sport betting by 15%. This new legalisation of sports betting also includes the building of casinos in areas of the state such as Chicago, Waukegan and the South Suburbs.
Due to this bill, the state has approved six casinos and will add slot machines and table games into three racetracks establishments – effectively turning them into additional bricks-and-mortar casinos. The SB 690 would also mean that the surrounding riverboat casinos can now relocate to land, and significantly increase gaming positions.
Slot machines will also be legally allowed in Illinois’s airports, such as O’Hare International Airport and Chicago Midway International Airport. Taxes on these slots will go up from 30% to 34% over a two year period.
Betting on sports will be authorised from both within the venue and online. In both locations, this betting would be controlled by gambling institutions such as racetracks, casinos online, and sports arenas. Additionally, near to 7,000 businesses offering video gambling will now be able to legally incorporate gambling machines into their establishment. It is worth noting that these businesses will only be allowed one machine per building.
Terry Link, a State Senator, has spoken up about the mixed opinions of this drastic gaming expansion that is sure to take over the state of Illinois, discussing the thoughts of Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s negotiators. Apparently, these negotiators are not 100% pleased or confident about the current plans for the deal.
Link has reflected on this, claiming that “The city has mixed emotions. They’re crying that they need the money. The new mayor wants the casino, but the devil is in the details how it’s going to happen” Link further claiming that “They don’t think it will be as profitable as we think it will be.”