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

Illinois is 1 step away from sports betting after a last-ditch effort by Rep. Bob Rita dropped into place this weekend.
House lawmakers voted to approve a wide expansion of gambling inside a funding financing 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 internet sports gambling.
The bill goes to the desk of Gov. J.B. Pritzker, whose recent comments make it clear he’ll sign it into law. The governor helped shepherd IL sports gambling across the end line, wanting to drive over $200 million in additional earnings to his state.
Passage was, frankly, a remarkable accomplishment taking into consideration the lack of advancement through the first five weeks of the year. Previous hints from Rep. Mike Zalewski were all turned aside, and also a perceived conflict of interest forced him to step back in 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 gambling?
The Senate eventually takes the ground following 4 p.m. local time. It doesn’t take long.
Sen. Terry Link presents the terms of the amended bill, which includes a complete projected fiscal effect of $12 billion. Commendations and positive comments from Sen. Dave Syverson, the Senate Minority Leader, seem to indicate that passing is a certainty.
Comments are short and mostly surface-level, with a few lawmakers lugging around in narrow provisions that affect their components. Sen. John Curran is the only one who speaks to sports gambling at any given length, looking for clarification on the branding provisions for online platforms.
Link is emotional as he closes the event, representing on his 20-year effort to increase economic growth from manufacturing.
The room applauds as the board lights up green, and 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 is the Complete text of this language:
What’s in the change?
The new vertical financing bill contains a multi-faceted gambling package headlined by a mega-casino at Chicago. The measure also offers six categories of licensure for IL sports gambling:
Master sports wagering
Management services supplier Tier 2 official league data supplier Central system provider In plain terms, these classes allow casinos, race tracks, and sports sites to offer sports betting — both in-person and on the internet. The provisions that concern online betting, nevertheless, require in-person enrollment for the initial 18 months.
The amendment also authorizes a lottery implementation encompassing 2,500 places in the first year.
IL sports gambling details
The fee for a master sports gambling license is calculated based on gross gaming revenue from the previous calendar year. Casinos will pay 5 percent of that number to provide sports betting for four decades up to a maximum 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 projected tax rate down to 15% of earnings.
As you can infer from the classes, language mandating the use of official league data for props and in-play betting stuck. While there is absolutely no integrity fee, the invoice will not enable colleges and sports leagues to restrict the types of available wagers. As composed, weatherproof collegiate sports are completely off the plank in Illinois.
The change removes the total blackout period for online betting that snuck to an earlier version, but it will keep a modified penalty box for DraftKings and FanDuel. Daily fantasy sports businesses will be permitted to compete in the sport gambling arena, but only master licensees can provide online wagering for the initial 18 months.
The amendment also creates three online-only licenses costing $20 million apiece, given on a delay via a competitive process.
Saturday: Agreement reached for IL sports betting Around three hours to the weekend semester, we are still in a holding pattern. House lawmakers have ticked several more things off their to-do record today, such as a bill that increases the minimum salary for Illinois teachers. For the time being, though, there’s nothing new to report on sports gambling.
Apart from the things we’re already touched , a few other hurdles have cropped up.
Perhaps most importantly, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot publicly opposes the bill as written. Her principal concern is the provision allowing sportsbooks interior of stadiums and arenas.
Mayoral opposition leads to’comprehension’
Here’s the statement from Mayor Lightfoot, as mentioned by Capitol Fax:
“I strongly support a gambling bill that sends a brand new casino and dollars to the town of Chicago. However, I oppose the addition of a provision that could open up sports wagering in venues like Soldier Field. Such a proposal has the potential to undermine the viability of any Chicago-based casino through the diversion of consumers and revenue from a casino. Because the impact of sports wagering in stadiums has not been fully vetted or analyzed, I cannot support the bill in its current form and urge the deletion of this stadium-betting provision”
On Saturday, however, the government releases a follow-up statement indicating that the conversation is still moving ahead:
“I have spoken to Mayor Lightfoot concerning her concerns with regards to sports betting, and we have collaboratively worked with the bill sponsors to make clear that the legislative intent will reflect that there are limitations on both the number of and locations for sports gambling venues. I am happy that we have reached this understanding…”
Mayor Lightfoot subsequently drops her opposition via a different statement:
“After successful discussions with the Governor, we’ve agreed to allow a limited amount of betting at sports venues subject to local oversight and control. These enhancements to the gambling proposal will allow us to maximize revenue capabilities of a brand new casino to the Town of Chicago and guarantee a fantastic quality of life to our areas that might otherwise be affected. 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 betting language appears mostly unchanged in a glance, although there are a lot of words to get through. The bill is called for second reading about 6 p.m. local time and proceeded directly to third.
By there, it’s evident that House lawmakers have reached an agreement to pass a number of big bills — including this one — until the end of the night. The ground presentation becomes something of a victory lap for Rita, with several associates commending him for his broad efforts to shore up vertical infrastructure. In his final, Rita thanks Rep. Mike Zalewski for his work.
The House votes 87-27 in favor of passing, sending the bill back to the chamber of origin for concurrence. The Senate meets Sunday in 3 p.m.
Friday: Last gasp for IL sports betting prospects
Friday was frantic at the state capitol, using a myriad of important 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 forced to issue a bad-news bulletin extending the work week during Sunday.
Although sports betting remains unresolved, a significant effort has surfaced.
Rep. Robert Rita grabbed the reins on Friday, borrowing from the frame 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.
While there’s a momentum, failure to cast a vote on Friday makes the job just a little bit taller. Any invoices considered from here out there 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 brand new vehicle for IL sports gambling Lawmakers begin the day behind closed doors, working to finalize the framework for IL sports betting. Most presume S 516 will serve as the vehicle, a Chicago casino invoice that seems to be an appropriate target for the empowering language. A midday curveball, however, shifts the attention.
Joe Ostrowski is a Chicago radio anchor who’s had his ear to the floor nowadays, and he is the first to reveal that everybody is looking in the incorrect 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 See Joe Ostrowski’s other Tweets
The bill he cites (S 690) isn’t a gaming bill, but a step amending tax provisions at the Invest in Kids Act. The current version has already cleared the Senate and awaits a floor vote at the lower room. Unexpectedly, some anticipate House lawmakers to submit a new amendment linked to sports betting.
Sure enough, a placeholder pops up on the docket, using 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 sign that something is about to happen.
LSR sources suggest that there’s good reason to track the dialogue all the way up before the last gavel.
Senate Appropriations committee hearing
Sen. Link gifts the amended bill to the committee, and… boy, is there a lot in it.
In addition to the gambling provisions, it also touches on taxes for smokes, parking, video lottery terminals, and numerous other mechanisms to increase state revenue. The total fiscal impact is near $1 billion, together with sports betting representing only a tiny part of the bundle.
It is the fastest of hearings, within less than five minutes. 1 member asks whether or not the bill raises the number of slot machines for every casino licensee — it will — and that is about it.
House Executive committee hearing
A heated floor debate on a marijuana bill (which finally passed) delays the home hearing by many hours.
After the committee eventually convenes, Rep. Mike Zalewski is a surprise addition to the dais in the front of the room. Even though the long-suffering proponent of IL sports gambling recently stepped back in the spotlight, Rita’s bill still lists him as the primary 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 brings 34 proponents and nine opponents (which grows to 18). Casino groups including Boyd Gaming, Penn National Gaming, and also the Illinois Casino Association remain opposed to the Last language.
Members of this committee have loads of questions, but the bulk of the conversation centers about gaming terms 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 complicated.
The language enables online platforms, but online-only firms can’t seek licensure for the first 18 months of IL sports gambling. The sponsor indicates he built his bill this way to”provide Illinois companies a ramp” to the new industry. Rita also notes that his amendment won’t affect the present status quo for DFS.
The committee recommends adoption of the change by an 8-5 vote, advancing the bill to the floor. There is still a great deal of work left to do before adjournment, both on sports gambling and on many of pivotal issues — including the state funding.
Formerly, in Illinois sports gambling…
This year’s attempt 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 many different potential frameworks, each catering to a specific group of stakeholders. Once again, though, nothing broadly palatable had emerged as the last couple of hours of session ticked off the clock.
The proposed budget from Gov. J.B. Pritzker includes $217 million in revenue from sports betting, so there is more at stake than just the freedom to bet. Failure would induce Illinois to watch from the sidelines while its neighbors in Indiana and Iowa trigger their new legislation.
Who can participate?
The notion of this”penalty box” is the biggest barrier to some passing right now.
To make a long story short, a few casino collections are working to maintain DraftKings Sportsbook and FanDuel Sportsbook from the Illinois market. They argue that daily fantasy sports is not explicitly legal in the state, and these so-called bad actors ought to be deducted from licensure for 3 decades. The real motivation is, clearly, a desire to get rid of competition in the two companies working away with all the New Jersey sports gambling market.
DraftKings responded by briefly running a television campaign pushing back to the barrier from Rush Street Gambling.
How much will it cost?
The sport leagues also have gained greater leverage with Illinois lawmakers than they have elsewhere in the country.
Most previous tips 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 an info mandate.
Coupled with licensing prices payable out at $25 million and taxation amounting to 20 percent of revenue, these operational burdens can stand between the invoice and the end line.
Who’s in charge?
Rep. Mike Zalewski carried the baton all spring, but a lack of advancement and also 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 material the allowing language in the wider gambling package before lawmakers head home for the year. In what might 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 moves, though, and it may not contain sports betting provisions even if it really does.
Matt Kredell contributed to this story.

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