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Illinois sports betting comment period ends, see the best public responses

south park rabble

“Rabble Rabble Rabble!” said some Illinois residents concerned about legalized sports betting in the Land of Lincoln.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed the Sports Wagering Act into law over the Summer, but Illinois isn’t expected to have sports betting ready any time soon. Lawmakers had hoped to launch sometime in 2020, but regulators have not announced any sort of timetable or start date.

In late August, the Illinois Gaming Board (IGB) opened a month-long public comment period while regulatory members draft rules for the state’s in-person, online, and mobile sportsbook operators.

Throughout September, Illinois residents and sports betting industry professionals voiced their thoughts and concerns on the launch of legal sports betting in the state.

A document containing 347 pages worth of responses from the public was released by the IGC late last week.

Most of the pages contain messages that were submitted from well-known establish sports betting providers, such as William Hill, Penn National Gaming, and The Stars Group among many others.

If you want to read all of the responses, you can find the Sports Wagering Comment document right here.

However, we wanted to shine a spotlight on what Illinois residents—who are both for and against the new law—think about sports betting coming to their state as well as the regulations the IGC is proposing.

So, we sifted through the document and picked the best responses of the individuals who publicly voiced their observations, suggestions, predictions, and criticisms regarding the launch of sportsbooks in Illinois. Enjoy!

Illinois sports betting public comments

Mobile betting needs to be done ASAP to keep up with states around us. I’ll be making the drive to Indiana in the meantime.

Joe P

To whom it may concern:

I’m disgusted that sports gambling, a long-time activity that was profitable for the mob, is now legalized. So, please have strict rules to prevent underage gambling, to limit or prohibit advertising, to address availability at all hours on mobile devices, and to prevent money laundering.

Thank you!

Kathy Gilroy

Every day you hesitate to implement mobile sports betting in Illinois you are losing money. Mobile sports betting will likely be the greatest revenue generator in the realm of gambling. These days no one is interested in going to a venue to place a bet. The idea that there should be betting windows at Wrigley Field or the United Center is at best arcane, at worst absurd.

I also want to point out that there is a stigma around sports betting that is unwarranted. The idea of a gambler losing his life savings and getting his legs broke by a mobster is a myth in today’s climate. I myself have been responsibly betting for 10+ years and have managed to not lose my life savings while increasing the enjoyment of sports spectating.

I think it’s a shame that ready made companies like draft kings and fan duel have been barred initially due to a circular ruling from AG Madigan. Much like the current AG is dropping low level marijuana charges because it is now legal, websites banned for proving a daily fantasy application should too be given a clean slate.

Nevertheless, mobile sports betting should be a top priority for lawmakers interested in generating revenue. This weekend I will likely place a bet and I can assure you that the government of Illinois will not see a cent of my money. That bums me out.

Get on it already

Dan Schiller, Esq.

Face the truth, human sports are too susceptible to tampering by bettors that can change the outcome. No fair betting field can ever be established.


There should be no reason why this is taking so long to get set up. Lets go so I can bet the NCAA tourney

If the IGB allows Churchill Downs to get another license and or doesnt make their life a living hell with Rivers for the stunt they are pulling at Arlington Park, the most beautiful track in the country (ive been to 30 race tracks), the whole gaming board should be fired

Churchill Downs should be allowed to operate in this state after using Arlington Park and horseman as a pawn

Tom Rothstein

To Whom It May Concern:

This is a no brainer….just follow what Nevada has done. They are the experts in gaming. They have very strict rules and regulations. Just follow them and all should be well.

Frank Zachman, Jr

Illinois does not need more gambling of any kind. Gambling already takes millions of dollars out of our state and local economies. Money that most of those individuals wagering cannot afford and money that our local businesses and families need.

Stop adding more gambling to a state that is already foundering.

Kenny Ryder

don’t try and reinvent the wheel, ask the experts out in Vegas how to run a sprotsbook…… Ive been waiting my whole life to make wagers LOCALLY instead of wiring my money to some organized crime family in central america

Scott Mackenzie

Good Morning!

I’m happy and excited that Illinois passed the Sports Wagering Act. However, all the money from this Act along with the money raised from passing the recreational marijuana act should be used to pay down all debt first. After getting the state out of debt then the money should be used for other ventures. I’m extremely disappointed that by the start of football you have to drive to Indiana or Iowa to make a legal wager. How could those two states get it up and running and Illinois can’t? Don’t tell me it is because they passed it before Illinois. Staff should have been working on the regulations even before it was passed. Wasted revenue the state will never get back.

Tom Busby

I don’t believe in sports betting on any level.

Patricia Forth

I really think you guys need to step back and take a look at what New Jersey is doing with sports betting. They are going to have 18 different sportsbook operators by the start of football season. Limiting the number of brands/licenses is such a silly decision. Lower the cost of the license like other states have done, get more companies involved and have apps available for online betting immediately. I get you want to punish fanduel and draft kings and give your casinos an advantage to start but in the long run the books that offer the most unique betting options, take large wagers, provide excellent customer service, fair odds and do a good job marketing are going to win out. If you look at the books online that make the most money you will see that pinnacle and bookmaker/betcris by far away make the most revenue and write the most business and its because of that approach.

Also with the cost of your license/tax rate books are not going to be able to offer the same offerings as places in indiana which ultimately will cost you revenue like it currently does with Chicago residents flocking over the border. New Jersey is building a mecca and becoming the vegas of the east. Why would we not try and make Illinois/Chicago the sports betting mecca of the midwest? Right out of the gate you are failing and ultimately costing the state a ton of revenue in the long run.


Really am concerned as to who will oversee the racetrack end of casino gaming. In other words how much will track owners keep for their own pockets versus what goes directly into the actual race purses.


I would recommend you consult with the Ontario gaming commission to see how they implemented it in Canada . There you can bet at convienance stores and casinos. You can bet all pro sports games and college games. I shouldn’t have to go to Indiana to bet on a Northwestern game. Also , look at the straight out system of betting or you will lose to the bookies anyway. Make it easier for people to bet online too . Just because one casino operator has a grudge against Draft Kings doesn’t mean we all should suffer

Daniel Boland

If Arlington isn”t going to use their slots/casino rights… Then they shouldn’t be allowed to take sports bets either.

Daniel Schulz

I was very disappointed that Arlington refused to apply for the gambling license that they have sought for years.  It seems that Churchill Downs is more interested in the success of their local casino than they are horseracing.

I think the tax argument is bogus.  The machines will bring in more revenue.  Even if the taxes are high, there is going to be more revenue.  Revenue is what the track needs to succeed.

CDI needs to be encouraged to sell Arlington.  Cut their racing dates. Make the new Hawthorne the premier racing spot in Chicago even though Arlington has the premier facilities.

Illinois is ready to leap back into relevance, but it is not going to happen if Arlington doesn’t help.  Churchill Downs is all about money and profits even at the expense of horseracing in Illinois.

Music parties and picnic days aren’t going to get people back into horseracing.  Big time races with the best horses and finest trainers are the ticket. Money is what is needed. Arlington is given a chance to collect more money, and they take a pass.

Force CDI to play the game fairly or force them out of Illinois.

Jim Stallons

Dear IL Gaming Board:

CDI decision to not, that’s right, NOT build a casino at Arlington Park is quite telling, to say the least. It is further telling that CDI wishes to build a casino near Waukegan, no where near Arlington. Arlington is one of the 5 most picturesque tracks in the country and CDI is telling us they are more than willing to close it down and replace it with who knows what, despite the expanded sports gaming passage.

Here is an idea: do NOT grant CDI any casino license for Waukegan or anywhere else in IL until they commit to Arlington long term or sell the track to a competent buyer (and I do not mean a real estate developer). And suspend their Rivers license near O’Hare as well while this process continues. Horse racing is a very important sport to the long term health of the IL economy and should be preserved.

And another idea: the sports betting bill will work even better if you place a casino in the Loop area as well. A great deal of tourists pass through the Loop year in and year out and will likely be glad to play in the heart of a world class city such as Chicago.

When these things are done, both the IL casinos, sportsbooks, and the IL thoroughbred industry will benefit in the long term and grow the IL economy in the process. Thank You For Reading.


Just my two cents here. Churchill Down Inc. entered the gambling market in Illinois via horse racing. They should not be able to operate casinos in Illinois without showing a commitment to help Illinois racing. Having gaming at Arlington is good for Illinois, good for horse racing, and the thousands in that industry affected by these decisions

Thank You

Fred Biasiello

Dear Illinois Gaming Board,

I wanted to pass along several comments related to the new gaming rules and what will be allowed/prohibited as currently outlined. To date, I understand that sportsbooks will only be licensed for 18 months to 1. Racetracks 2. Casinos 3. Stadiums, with books being allowed within 500 yards of those. I would encourage the board to consider a larger radius with which books can open and operate. This would generate more opportunities, including those in lower income neighborhoods without any of the 3 approved venues, for work and tax revenue to support those neighborhoods. Furthermore, I would make it as easy as possible for these venues to go-live with their mobile betting apps. The infrastructure and internal controls should already be established from other parent-company applications and there should be no delay in the go-live upon license approval.

Finally, the license approval process should be swift as it has already been established for at least 18 months the only venues that may house sportsbooks. Allow these books to ramp up operations as soon as possible in order to capture the football season market.

Appreciate your considerations!


My name is Matthew Slade and I am a village trustee in the village of Durand but my comments are my own.

I think that the rules should be produced with haste but Make sure they are soundly written so Illinois can be the best run program. Also with the lottery parlay system I think the board should make sure that there is equitable disbursement of the licenses. Making sure that big towns and little towns have access to the lottery parlay pilot program.

Hopefully some bets can be placed before the end of the year, At least by super bowl time.

Also I think setting rules for betting on international sports events such as the 2020 Summer

Olympics will be important to.


Matthew Slade
Village trustee
Village of Durand

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