Illinois Steps up To Regulate Online Gambling and Sports Betting

Illinois Steps up To Regulate Online Gambling and Sports Betting

The state of Illinois could be deciding about the fate of sports betting and online gambling before the year’s end, should the proposals for both reach lawmakers in time.

New Wave of Gambling

This week is reserved for a hearing on a “new wave of gaming,” which also includes fantasy gaming, during which the attendees at state capitol Springfield should “build a consensus proposal that could be considered after the November election,” according to pro-gambling Representative Bob Rita…

…Gaming and Sales and Other taxes subcommittees members will be listening to pitches by the representatives from fantasy sports, online gambling, professional sports leagues and casino companies, as well as those opposing them.

Since becoming the House Democrats’ point person on the gambling sector in 2013, Rita has proposed couple of bills on gambling expansion with the most recent one being in May which is about time when PASPA was repealed by the US Congress…

…After that, he was strongly encouraged by the developments of gambling market in New Jersey.

Opportunities For Growth

Rita has said this in a statement: “As I have said from the beginning in working on this issue, gaming expansion presents many tremendous opportunities to create revenue, jobs and economic growth in Illinois. The gaming landscape has changed significantly since I took on this issue five years ago, and I want to use these hearings to understand how those changes present new opportunities for us to put the right package together as we look to meet budget needs and provide a spark for our economy.”

Illinois is the sixth-largest US state – with 13 million residents, it would be of huge interest to gambling operators. Its largest city, Chicago, is a home to some of the most famous sport franchises – Chicago Bulls in the NBA and Chicago Bears in the NFL.

There are analysts who have no doubt that Illinois will soon go down the route of legalized sports betting and online gambling – like Chris Grove, Eilers & Krejcik Gaming.

He says: “As with all states, Illinois will have to run the gauntlet of stakeholders with competing agendas and deep wells of political power in order to get a bill done, but I do believe the interest is there.”

Economic benefits of gambling expansion is a key factor that is most often stressed as a vital part that should not be overlooked by the lawmakers. Pala Interactive CEO and a member of the nonprofit organization iDEA Growth, Jim Ryan, is one of those people…

…He claims that mobile wagering is the future of the industry and that it’s already happening on unregulated platforms which is why Illinois needs to make this legal and regulated.


“Illinois targets rapid progress on betting legislation”,, October 17, 2018.

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