Illinois is now officially one signature away from legalizing domestic sports betting. On Sunday, June 2nd, 2019, the Illinois House and Senate both passed SB690 a bill that legalizes domestic sports betting and mobile in-state betting, now all that remains before it becomes law is the Governor’s signature.
After getting off to a rocky start, it seems as if lawmakers and casino operators have come to an agreement over legal sports betting. Initially, operators were worried about a gambling expansion bill SB516 that would have allowed multiple private casinos and racinos to move into the state.
SB690 does not address other casino locations but helps support already established state-based operators by offering them an 18-month head start with mobile sports betting applications. The bill states that domestic operators will get the head start before other online-only operators like FanDuel and DraftKings are allowed to operate.
The state bill includes details that online-only licenses will be made available to only three operators with a licensing fee of $20 million each. Then after the first five years, a license can be renewed for a fee of $1 million each year. According to several media sources, this number is the highest online licensing fee set by any state so far.
New Jersey is expected to surpass $3 billion in total bets in its first year of legal sports betting. Illinois has almost 4 million more residents than New Jersey, but due to the difference in sports betting laws, Illinois is expected to fall short of New Jersey’s $3 billion bet mark.
Illinoisresidents will have to register at a casino if they wish to bet online or with mobile devices. There will be no betting on in-state college sports, and operators will be taxed at 15%.
Despite some of the restrictions that could change over time, Illinois residents are just waiting for the Governor’s signature and looking forward to placing legal sports bets in the future.