Illinois Takes the Sports Betting Plunge

Towards the end of May, it looked as if the state of Illinois was going to miss out on the opportunity to legalize sports betting. But they were able to strike up a deal when the calendar turned to June. Illinois will now join its neighbors, Iowa and Indiana, as two states across the country where sports betting will soon be legal. The state of Illinois predicts over $700 million in revenue in the first year after charging for licensing and taxes. Illinois is one of the poorest states in the country, and sports betting should help to erase some of the large deficit.

Stadiums and Casinos Will Be Hot Spots

Illinois lawmakers wanted to give their brick and mortar companies a head start on the competition, and they also voted to include stadiums in the new bill. Stadiums with a seating capacity of over 17,000 people can apply for a license to provide sports betting to their customers, and that will include the professional sports franchises in Chicago. These stadiums have a five-block radius as their boundaries to accept bets on sporting events.

The National Football League and National Basketball Association have both been closely associated with sports betting, and that should help the Bears and Bulls get something set up outside of their respective stadiums. There are currently 16 casinos that can apply for the license as well, and more casinos are going to be opening up once this new law passes as well.

If you don’t live near a casino currently in operation, or near the city of Chicago, then you might have to do some traveling to do to take advantage of this new law.

Online Betting Must Wait

Online gambling has been a hot topic of debate in almost all of the states legalizing sports betting, and it kept holding back the process in Illinois as well. Illinois previously had issues with DraftKings and FanDuel operating in bad faith inside of their borders, and they wanted to make sure that this new bill hurt their chances of taking over in Illinois.

Instead of just banning DFS type sites, the state of Illinois decided to postpone the addition of online gambling for a span of 18 months after the law is officially passed. FanDuel and DraftKings have been trying to make their case to the residents of Illinois, but lawmakers are going to keep them out of the state until at least 2021.

Don’t Expect to Bet on College Games

Another interesting stipulation that comes with this new law is that betting on collegiate sports teams within the state of Illinois is banned. College sports do play a huge role in the state of Illinois, and this will likely make sports bettors extremely upset to see this language included in the bill.

Betting on college basketball and football is one of the most popular sports across the country, but that won’t be allowed in the “Land of Lincoln.” This could always change in the future as the NCAA navigates the sports betting landscape as well, but don’t expect it to change before online betting becomes legal and in operation.

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