Illinois Just Made Some Significant Reforms Regarding Sports Betting

October 2, 2019 Matt Speakman

The United States has finally started its massive revolution regarding the betting and gambling industry last year. From then on, various states have done what they have never done before – legalized sports betting and allowing people to legally bet on sports matches.

Chicago by night

The City lights of Chicago © 12019 / Pixabay

Unfortunately, that is not the case with the state of Illinois. In fact, just like most other states in the country, Illinois sports betting remains undermined. On August 8, state regulators briefly addressed the subject during their meeting and although Marcus Fruchter (Illinois Gaming Board Administer) was given the responsibility by the board to promulgate reforms for sports betting in the state, the other members of the board did not set any deadline.

Will Gaming Board Approve All Necessary Sports Betting Requirements in September?

Next month, on September 5 there will be another meeting for which the sports betting stakeholders seem to be more hopeful regarding receiving any specific information. However, what concerns them is the fact that even if the Gaming Board approves all necessary sports betting requirements, it still would take a significant amount of time before gaming facilities are able to start taking bets.

As opposed to the state of Illinois, its two Midwestern neighbors, Indiana and Iowa, are believed to start taking bets ahead of pro football’s first kickoff. Illinois, on the other hand, is taking longer to fully legalize sports betting due to their wish to implement one of the most complex and expansive sports betting markets in the country.

For that purpose, elected officials approved a major expansion of the state’s video lottery terminal slots, permitted a vast array of gaming entities to take wagers on sporting events and gave a green light to a new casino in the Chicago metroplex by signing a sweeping gaming expansion bill just a few days ago.

Why The Gambling Industry Is so Important for the State?

Due to the economic issues of the country, many politicians saw the potential of the gambling industry to boost state coffers, yet they are still hesitant regarding the legalization of sports betting. Although sports betting is still not fully legalized in the state, Illinois is a witness of pari-mutuel horse race betting and in-person casino and gaming centers for nearly a century. The state has also approved a state lottery and VLTs at licensed truck stops, while it has taken into consideration historic horse racing machines and other ways to expand the gambling industry. Nevertheless, although this is a step forward for the gambling industry as a whole, it only made things slightly more complicated for sports betting.

2018 was not a good year for sports betting in Illinois as it failed to be fully legalized, but 2019 was slightly better because the signed bill allowed the state horse tracks and casinos to apply for sports betting along with the Illinois State Lottery which was also authorized to take bets at more than 2 500 video terminals all around the state.

The Governor of Illinois, J. B. Pritzker stated that gambling can be very fun to do and encouraged around the Midwest and around the world to visit Illinois and enjoy gaming and their entertainment facilities.

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