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


Illinois is 1 step away from legal sports betting after a last-ditch effort from Rep. Bob Rita fell into place this weekend.
House lawmakers voted to approve a broad expansion of gaming within a funding financing bill on Saturday, and the Senate followed suit on Sunday. Gambling provisions within the act include a long-awaited casino in Chicago and consent for both retail and internet sports betting.
The bill now moves to the desk of Gov. J.B. Pritzker, whose recent remarks make it clear he will sign it into law. The governor helped shepherd IL sports gambling across the finish line, seeking to drive over $200 million in additional earnings to his state.
Passage was, honestly, a remarkable feat taking into consideration the absence of advancement through the first five months of the year. Previous hints from Rep. Mike Zalewski were all turned aside, and a perceived conflict of interest forced him to step back in the last days of session.
LSR continues to be keeping a close eye on the chatter this weekend and updating this page as the situation unfolded. Here’s the play-by-play:
Is Sunday the day for Illinois sports gambling?
The Senate finally takes the floor after 4 p.m. local time. It does not take long.
Sen. Terry Link presents the terms of the amended bill, which carries a total projected fiscal impact of $12 billion. Commendations and positive comments from Sen. Dave Syverson, the Senate Minority Leader, appear to signal that passage is a certainty.
Opinions are brief and largely surface-level, with a couple lawmakers poking around at narrow provisions that affect their constituents. Sen. John Curran is the only person who talks to sports gambling at any length, looking for clarification about the branding provisions for internet platforms.
Link is emotional as he shuts the proceedings, reflecting on his 20-year effort to increase 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 that, the bill that will legalize sports gambling in Illinois is headed to the governor.
IL sports betting bill as amended
Here is the Complete text of this language:
What is in the change?
The new vertical funding bill contains a multi-faceted gambling package headlined by a mega-casino in Chicago. The measure also has six categories of licensure for IL sports betting:
Master sports wagering
Management services supplier Tier two official league data supplier Central system provider In stark terms, these classes allow casinos, race tracks, and sports sites to offer sports betting — equally in-person and online. The provisions that concern online betting, however, require in-person enrollment for the initial 18 months.
The amendment also authorizes a lottery implementation encompassing 2,500 locations in the first year.
IL sports betting details
The commission for a master sports betting license is calculated based on gross gaming revenue from the previous year. Casinos will cover 5% of the number to provide sports gambling for four years, up to a max of $10 million. That cap was not current in recent models and should ease the burden on large operators such as Rush Street Gaming. Rita also softened the projected tax rate down to 15% of earnings.
As you can infer from the categories, language mandating using official league info for props and in-play betting stuck. Even though there’s absolutely no ethics fee, the invoice does empower schools and sports leagues to limit the types of accessible wagers. As composed, weatherproof collegiate sports are off the board in Illinois.
The amendment removes the total blackout period for internet betting that snuck into a previous version, but it does keep a modified penalty box for DraftKings and FanDuel. Daily fantasy sports businesses will be allowed to compete in the sports gambling arena, but only master licensees can provide online wagering for the first 18 months.
The amendment also creates three online-only permits costing $20 million apiece, given on a delay by means of a competitive process.
Saturday: Agreement reached for IL sports gambling Around three hours into the weekend session, we’re still in a holding pattern. House lawmakers have ticked several more items off their to-do record today, such as a bill that raises the minimum wages for Illinois teachers. For now, however, there’s nothing new to report online sports betting.
Aside from the things we are already touched , a couple other challenges have cropped up.
Perhaps most notably, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot publicly opposes the bill as written. Her principal concern is the provision allowing sportsbooks inside of stadiums and arenas.
Mayoral opposition leads to’understanding’
Here is the announcement from Mayor Lightfoot, as reported by Capitol Fax:
“I strongly support a gambling bill that sends a new casino and dollars to the city of Chicago. But, I oppose the inclusion of a provision that could open up sports wagering in areas like Soldier Field. Such a proposal has the potential to undermine the viability of any Chicago-based casino via the recreation of consumers and revenue from a casino. Since the effect of sports wagering in stadiums hasn’t been fully assessed or analyzed, I cannot support the bill in its present form and urge the deletion of this stadium-betting provision”
On Saturday, but the government releases a follow-up announcement indicating that the conversation is moving ahead:
“I have spoken to Mayor Lightfoot concerning her issues with regards to sports gambling, and we’ve reluctantly worked together with the bill sponsors to make clear that the legislative purpose will reflect that there are limits on both the amount of and places for sports betting venues. I am happy that we’ve attained this understanding…”
Mayor Lightfoot subsequently drops her resistance via a different announcement:
“After successful talks with the Governor, we’ve agreed to permit a limited amount of gambling at sports venues subject to local oversight and control. These improvements to the gaming proposition will permit us to maximize earnings capabilities of a new casino for the Town of Chicago and ensure a good quality of life for our neighborhoods that might otherwise be impacted. As such, I recommend the passage of SB 690 as amended…”
Illinois House votes on sports gambling After a break for committee meetings and caucuses, Rep Bob Rita documents a final amendment to the financing package. The sport gambling language looks mostly unchanged at a glimpse, although there are a great deal of words to get through. The bill is known as second reading about 6 p.m. local time and moved directly to third.
By that point, it is apparent that House lawmakers have reached a agreement to pass a number of big bills — including this one — before the end of the night. The floor demonstration becomes something of a victory lap for Rita, with different members commending him for his broad efforts to shore up vertical infrastructure. In his closing, Rita thanks Rep. Mike Zalewski because of his work.
The House votes 87-27 in favor of passage, sending the bill back to the room of origin for concurrence. The Senate meets Sunday at 3 p.m.
Friday: Last gasp for IL sports betting prospects
Friday was frantic at the state capitol, with an assortment of key issues to hammer on the final day of the scheduled session. Lawmakers did create a dent in the pile of invoices, but leaders had been made to issue a bad-news bulletin extending the work week through Sunday.
Although sports betting remains unresolved, a significant effort has surfaced.
Rep. Robert Rita captured the reins on Friday, borrowing in the framework of Rep. Mike Zalewski to cobble together a compromise bill. His campaign ran out of daylight on the House floor, but the bonus weekend of lawmaking means there’s still hope for sports betting this year.
Even though there’s some momentum, failure to cast a vote Friday makes the task just a little bit taller. Any invoices considered from here out there require a 3/5ths supermajority to pass, a threshold that may just be out of reach.
Here’s a chronological timeline of the day’s events:
A brand new vehicle for IL sports gambling Lawmakers start the day behind closed doors, working to finalize the frame for IL sports gambling. Most presume S 516 will function as the vehicle, a Chicago casino bill that seems 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 nowadays, and he’s the first to show that everyone is looking in the wrong location.
Joe Ostrowski
Some optimism in Springfield for sport betting.
SB 690 should drop very soon.
7:22 PM – May 31, 2019
Twitter Ads info and solitude Watch Joe Ostrowski’s other Tweets
The invoice 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 linked 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 host to Sen. Terry Link provides an additional indication that something is going to happen.
LSR sources suggest that there’s good reason to monitor the conversation all the way up before 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 increase state revenue. The overall fiscal impact is near $1 billion, together with sports betting representing just a tiny component of the package.
It is the quickest of hearings, over in under five minutes. 1 member asks whether or not the bill raises the number of slot machines for each casino licensee — it does — and that’s about it.
House Executive committee hearing
A heated floor debate on a marijuana bill (which ultimately passed) delays the House hearing by several hours.
After the committee eventually convenes, Rep. Mike Zalewski is a surprise addition to the dais at the front of the room. Even though the long-suffering proponent of IL sports betting recently stepped back in the spotlight, Rita’s bill still 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 change attracts 34 proponents and nine opponents (which later grows to 18). Casino groups such as Boyd Gaming, Penn National Gaming, and also the Illinois Casino Association remain in relation to this final language.
Members of this committee have plenty of questions, however, the majority of the discussion centers about gaming provisions not related to sports gambling. Rita struggles to explain some of the finer points in detail, particularly as they relate to DraftKings and FanDuel. It’s complex.
The language allows online platforms, but online-only companies can’t seek licensure for the first 18 weeks of IL sports gambling. The sponsor suggests he built his bill this way to”provide Illinois companies a ramp” into the new sector. Rita also notes that his amendment will not affect the existing status quo for DFS.
The committee advocates adoption of the amendment with an 8-5 vote, progressing the bill to the floor. There is still a great deal of work left to do before adjournment, equally on sports gambling and on a number of critical issues — such as the state budget.
Formerly, in Illinois sports gambling…
This year’s attempt to legalize sports gambling follows in the footsteps of this 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 specific set of stakeholders. Yet more, though, nothing widely palatable had emerged since the past couple of hours of session ticked off the clock.
The proposed funding from Gov. J.B. Pritzker includes $217 million in earnings from sports betting, so there is more at stake than just the liberty to bet. Failure would induce Illinois to observe from the sidelines while its neighbors in Indiana and Iowa activate their new legislation.
Who will participate?
The concept of the”penalty box” is your biggest hurdle to a passing right now.
To make a long story short, some casino collections are working to keep DraftKings Sportsbook and FanDuel Sportsbook out of the Illinois market. They assert that daily fantasy sports isn’t explicitly legal in the country, and these so-called awful actors should be deducted from licensure for three years. The real motivation is, of course, that a desire to get rid of competition from the two businesses working away together with the New Jersey sports gambling market.
DraftKings responded by temporarily running a tv campaign pushing back on the barrier from Rush Street Gaming.
How much does it cost?
The sports leagues also have gained greater leverage with Illinois lawmakers than they have elsewhere in the country.
Most previous proposals for IL sports betting required payment of an integrity fee and the use of official league data to repay”Tier 2″ wagers. No US sports betting law comprises a ethics fee, and Tennessee is the only one with a data mandate.
Coupled with licensing fees payable out at $25 million and taxation amounting to 20% of revenue, these operational burdens may stand between the invoice and the finish 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 indicates that Rep. Bob Rita is actively working to stuff the allowing language in the broader gambling package before lawmakers head home for the year. In what could be regarded as an encouraging sign, Senate Republican Leader Sen. Dave Syverson has signed on as a co-sponsor.
There is no guarantee that bill passes, though, and perhaps it doesn’t include sports betting provisions even when it really does.
Matt Kredell contributed to this story.

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