Illinois Lawmakers Vote To Approve Sports Betting On Last Day Of Session

Illinois is one step away from legal sports gambling after a last-ditch effort by Rep. Bob Rita dropped into place that weekend.
House lawmakers voted to approve a broad expansion of gambling inside a funding funding bill on Saturday, and the Senate followed suit on Sunday. Gaming provisions within the act comprise a long-awaited casino in Chicago and authorization for both retail and online sports gambling.
The bill now moves to the desk of Gov. J.B. Pritzker, whose current comments make it clear he will sign it into law. The governor helped shepherd IL sports betting across the finish line, seeking to drive over $200 million in additional earnings to his nation.
Passage was, honestly, a remarkable feat taking into consideration the lack of advancement through the first five months of the year. Previous hints from Rep. Mike Zalewski were turned aside, and a perceived conflict of interest forced him to step back at the last days of session.
LSR continues to be keeping a close watch on the chatter this weekend and updating this page as the situation unfolded. Here is the play-by-play:
Is Sunday the day for Illinois sports betting?
The Senate eventually takes the ground after 4 p.m. local time. It does not take long.
Sen. Terry Link presents the terms of the amended bill, which includes a total projected fiscal effect of $12 billion. Commendations and favorable comments from Sen. Dave Syverson, the Senate Minority Leader, appear to indicate that passage is a certainty.
Comments are brief and mostly surface-level, using a couple lawmakers lugging around in narrow provisions that affect their components. Sen. John Curran is the only one who speaks to sports betting at any given length, looking for clarification about the branding provisions for online platforms.
Link is psychological as he shuts the event, reflecting on his 20-year effort to improve economic growth from manufacturing.
The chamber applauds as the board lights up green, and also the Senate concurs with the House changes by a 46-10 vote. Just like this, the bill that will legalize sports gambling in Illinois is headed to the governor.
IL sports betting bill as amended
Here’s the full text of the language:
What is in the amendment?
The new vertical funding bill contains a multi-faceted gambling package headlined by a mega-casino in Chicago. The measure also offers six categories of licensure for IL sports gambling:
Master sports wagering
Management services supplier Tier 2 official league data provider Central system supplier In plain terms, these classes make it possible for casinos, race tracks, and sports venues to provide sports betting — equally in-person and online. The provisions that concern online betting, however, require in-person enrollment for the first 18 months.
The amendment also authorizes a lottery execution encompassing 2,500 locations in the very first year.
IL sports gambling details
The fee for a master sports gambling license is calculated based on gross gaming revenue from the last year. Casinos will pay 5% of the number to provide sports gambling for four yearsup to a max of $10 million. That cap wasn’t current in recent models and should alleviate the burden on large operators such as Rush Street Gaming. Rita also softened the proposed tax rate down to 15 percent of revenue.
As you can infer from the categories, language mandating using official league info for props and in-play betting stuck. While there is no integrity fee, the invoice will not enable colleges and sports leagues to limit the types of accessible wagers. As written, in-state collegiate sports are completely off the board in Illinois.
The amendment removes the total blackout period for online gambling that snuck to an earlier version, but it will retain a modified penalty box for DraftKings and FanDuel. Daily fantasy sports businesses will be allowed to compete at the sports gambling arena, but just master licensees can offer online wagering for the initial 18 months.
The change also generates three online-only permits costing $20 million apiece, awarded on a delay via a competitive process.
Saturday: Agreement reached for IL sports betting About three hours to the weekend session, we are still in a holding pattern. House lawmakers have ticked several more things off their to-do record today, including a bill that increases the minimum salary for Illinois teachers. For now, however, there’s nothing new to report on sports betting.
Apart from the things we’re already touched on, a couple other challenges have cropped up.
Perhaps most notably, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot publicly opposes the bill as written. Her main concern is the provision allowing sportsbooks interior of stadiums and arenas.
Mayoral opposition leads to’understanding’
Here’s the statement from Mayor Lightfoot, as reported by Capitol Fax:
«I firmly support a gambling bill that directs a new casino and dollars to the city of Chicago. However, I oppose the inclusion of a provision which would open sports wagering in areas like Soldier Field. This type of proposal has the capacity to undermine the viability of any Chicago-based casino through the diversion of consumers and revenue from a casino. Because the effect of sports wagering in stadiums hasn’t been completely vetted or analyzed, I can’t support the bill in its current form and advocate the deletion of this stadium-betting provision»
On Saturday, however, the governor releases a followup announcement indicating that the dialogue is moving forward:
«I have spoken to Mayor Lightfoot about her issues with respect to sports betting, and we have collaboratively worked with the bill sponsors to make clear that the legislative purpose will reflect that there are limits on both the number of and places for sports betting venues. I’m pleased that we have reached this understanding…»
Mayor Lightfoot subsequently drops her resistance via a different announcement:
«After productive discussions with the Governor, we’ve agreed to allow a limited amount of betting at sports areas subject to local oversight and control. These enhancements to the gaming proposition will permit us to maximize earnings capabilities of a brand new casino for the City of Chicago and guarantee a good quality of life for our neighborhoods that might otherwise be affected. As such, I recommend the passage of SB 690 as amended…»
Illinois House votes on sports betting Following a break for committee meetings and caucuses, Rep Bob Rita files a last amendment to the funding package. The sports gambling language looks mostly unchanged at a glance, although there are a lot of words to get through. The bill is known as second reading around 6 p.m. local time and moved directly to third.
By that point, it’s evident that House lawmakers have reached a agreement to pass a number of big bills — such as this one — before the end of the night. The floor presentation becomes something of a victory lap for Rita, with several associates commending him for his wide efforts to shore up vertical infrastructure. In his closing, Rita thanks Rep. Mike Zalewski for his work.
The House votes 87-27 in favor of passage, sending the bill back into the chamber of origin for concurrence. The Senate matches Sunday at 3 p.m.
Friday: Last gasp for IL sports gambling prospects
Friday was frantic at the state capitol, using an assortment of important issues to hammer out on the last day of the scheduled session. Lawmakers did create a dent in the pile of bills, but leaders were forced to issue a bad-news bulletin stretching the work week through Sunday.
Although sports betting remains unresolved, a substantial effort has surfaced.
Rep. Robert Rita captured the reins on Friday, borrowing from the framework of Rep. Mike Zalewski to cobble together a compromise bill. His effort ran from daylight on the House floor, however, the bonus weekend of lawmaking means there is still hope for sports betting this year.
Even though there is a momentum, failure to cast a vote Friday makes the job a little bit taller. Any invoices considered from here on out demand a 3/5ths supermajority to passa brink which could simply be out of reach.
Here’s a chronological timeline of this day’s events:
A new vehicle for IL sports betting Lawmakers begin the day behind closed doors, working to finalize the framework for IL sports betting. Most presume S 516 will function as the car, a Chicago casino bill that appears to be a suitable target for the enabling language. A midday curveball, however, shifts the focus.
Joe Ostrowski is a Chicago radio anchor who has had his ear to the floor this week, and he is the first to reveal that everybody is looking in the wrong place.
Joe Ostrowski
Some optimism in Springfield for sports betting.
SB 690 should shed very soon.
7:22 PM – May 31, 2019
Twitter Ads info and solitude See Joe Ostrowski’s other Tweets
The bill he references (S 690) is not a gambling bill, but a measure amending tax provisions in the Invest in Kids Act. The current version has cleared the Senate and awaits a floor vote in the lower room. Suddenly, some expect House lawmakers to file a new amendment related to sports gambling.
Sure enough, a placeholder pops upon the docket, with a hearing at the House Executive committee scheduled for 1:30 p.m. local time. A change of sponsor to Sen. Terry Link provides another indication that something is going to happen.
LSR sources indicate that there’s good reason to monitor the conversation all the way up until the past gavel.
Senate Appropriations committee hearing
Sen. Link presents the amended bill to the committee, and… boy, is there a lot in it.
In addition to the gaming provisions, it also touches on taxes for smokes, parking, video lottery terminals, and numerous different mechanisms to boost state revenue. The overall fiscal impact is close to $1 billion, together with sports betting representing just a tiny component of the package.
It’s the quickest of hearings, over in less than five minutes. One member inquires whether or not the bill increases the amount of slot machines for each casino licensee — it does — and that is about it.
House Executive committee hearing
A heated floor debate on a marijuana bill (which ultimately passed) delays the House hearing by many hours.
When the committee eventually convenes, Rep. Mike Zalewski is a surprise addition to the dais in the front of the room. Although the long-suffering proponent of IL sports betting recently stepped back in the spotlight, Rita’s bill lists him as the first House sponsor. The committee substitutes Zalewski in as a temporary member to cast a vote in favour of passing.
Without much lead time, the amendment attracts 34 proponents and nine competitions (which later grows to 18). Casino groups such as Boyd Gaming, Penn National Gaming, and the Illinois Casino Association remain opposed to this final language.
Members of this committee have loads of questions, however, the majority of the discussion centers about gambling terms not related to sports gambling. Rita struggles to explain some of the finer points in detail, especially as they relate to DraftKings and FanDuel. It is complicated.
The language enables online platforms, but online-only firms can not find licensure for the initial 18 months of IL sports gambling. The sponsor suggests he constructed his bill this way to»give Illinois companies a ramp» to the new sector. Rita also notes that his amendment will not affect the present status quo for DFS.
The committee recommends adoption of the amendment with an 8-5 vote, advancing the bill to the ground. There’s still a great deal of work left to do before adjournment, both on sports betting and on many of critical issues — including the state budget.
Previously, in Illinois sports gambling…
This year’s effort to legalize sports betting follows in the footsteps of the failed 2018 effort.
As it did last year, work started early in 2019. Lawmakers cobbled together a variety of potential frameworks, each catering to a particular group of stakeholders. Once more, however, nothing broadly palatable had emerged as the last few hours of session ticked off the clock.
The proposed budget from Gov. J.B. Pritzker includes $217 million in revenue from sports gambling, so there’s more at stake than just the freedom to bet. Failure would force Illinois to observe from the sidelines while its neighbors at Indiana and Iowa activate their new laws.
Who can participate?
The notion of the»penalty box» is the biggest hurdle to a passing at the moment.
To make a long story short, some casino collections are working to maintain DraftKings Sportsbook and FanDuel Sportsbook out of the Illinois market. They argue that daily fantasy sports isn’t explicitly lawful in the state, and these so-called bad actors ought to be deducted from licensure for 3 decades. The actual motivation is, clearly, that a desire to eliminate competition in both businesses working away with the New Jersey sports gambling market.
DraftKings responded by temporarily running a tv campaign pushing back to the barrier from Rush Street Gaming.
How much will it cost?
The sport leagues have also gained greater leverage with Illinois lawmakers than they have elsewhere in the country.
Most previous proposals for IL sports gambling required payment of an integrity fee and using official league information to settle»Tier 2″ wagers. No US sports gambling law comprises a ethics fee, and Tennessee is the only one with a data mandate.
Coupled with licensing prices payable out at $25 million and taxation amounting to 20% of revenue, these operational burdens may stand between the bill and the end line.
Who is in charge?
Rep. Mike Zalewski carried the baton all spring, however, a lack of progress and a perceived conflict of interest forced him to step aside in the 11th hour.
Start-of-day intel suggests that Rep. Bob Rita is actively working to stuff the enabling language into the wider gaming package before lawmakers head home for the year. In what might be regarded as a reassuring sign, Senate Republican Leader Sen. Dave Syverson has signed as a co-sponsor.
There’s no warranty that bill moves, though, and it may not include sports gambling provisions even if it does.
Matt Kredell contributed to this story.

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