illinois is 1 step away from legal sports betting after a last-ditch effort from rep. bob rita fell into place that weekend.
house lawmakers voted to approve a wide expansion of gaming inside a capital 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 online sports gambling.
the bill now moves to the desk of gov. j.b. pritzker, whose current comments make it clear he’ll sign it into law. the governor helped shepherd il sports betting across the finish line, wanting to drive over $200 million in extra revenue to his nation.
passage was, honestly, a remarkable accomplishment considering the absence of advancement through the first five weeks of the year. previous proposals from rep. mike zalewski were turned aside, and also a perceived conflict of interest forced him to step back at the last days of session.
lsr continues to be keeping a close watch on the chatter this weekend and upgrading this page as the situation unfolded. here’s the play-by-play:
is sunday the afternoon for illinois sports betting?
the senate eventually takes the ground following 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 effect of $12 billion. commendations and favorable comments from sen. dave syverson, the senate minority leader, seem to signal that passing is a certainty.
opinions are short and mostly surface-level, using a few lawmakers lugging around in narrow provisions that affect their components. sen. john curran is the only one who talks to sports betting at any given length, seeking clarification about the branding provisions for internet platforms.
link is emotional as he closes the proceedings, reflecting on his 20-year effort to improve economic development from manufacturing.
the chamber applauds as the board lights up green, and the senate concurs with the house changes with a 46-10 vote. just like this, the bill that will legalize sports gambling in illinois is led to the governor.
il sports betting bill as amended
here’s 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 step also offers six categories of licensure for il sports betting:
master sports wagering
management services supplier tier two official league info provider central system provider in plain terms, these classes allow casinos, race tracks, and sports venues to offer sports betting — both in-person and online. the terms that concern online betting, nevertheless, require in-person enrollment for the first 18 months.
the amendment also authorizes a lottery implementation encompassing 2,500 places in the very first year.
il sports gambling details
the fee for a master sports betting license is calculated based on gross gaming revenue from the last calendar year. casinos will cover 5 percent of the number to provide sports gambling 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 like rush street gaming. rita also softened the proposed tax rate down to 15 percent of revenue.
as you can infer from the categories, language mandating the use of official league info for props and in-play gambling stuck. even though there’s no integrity fee, the bill will not empower schools and sports leagues to restrict the kinds of accessible wagers. as written, in-state collegiate sports are completely off the plank in illinois.
the change removes the overall blackout period for internet betting that snuck into an earlier version, but it will retain a modified penalty box for draftkings and fanduel. daily fantasy sports businesses will be permitted to compete in the sport betting arena, but only master licensees can provide online wagering for the initial 18 months.
the change also generates three online-only licenses costing $20 million apiece, given on a delay via a competitive procedure.
saturday: agreement reached for il sports betting around three hours to the weekend session, we are still in a holding pattern. house lawmakers have ticked several more items off their to-do list now, such as a bill that increases the minimum salary for illinois teachers. for now, though, there’s nothing new to report online sports betting.
apart 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 that the provision permitting sportsbooks inside of stadiums and arenas.
mayoral opposition leads to’comprehension’
here is the statement from mayor lightfoot, as mentioned by capitol fax:
“i strongly support a gaming bill that sends a brand new casino and dollars to the city of chicago. but, i oppose the inclusion of a provision which would open up sports wagering in venues like soldier field. this type of proposal has the capacity to undermine the viability of any chicago-based casino through the diversion of customers and revenue from a casino. since the effect of sports wagering in stadiums has not been fully assessed or analyzed, i can’t support the bill in its current form and advocate the deletion of the stadium-betting provision.”
on saturday, however, the governor releases a follow-up statement indicating that the conversation is still moving forward:
“i have spoken to mayor lightfoot concerning her issues with respect to sports gambling, and we’ve reluctantly worked together with the bill sponsors to make clear that the legislative intent will reflect that there are limits on both the number of and locations for sports betting venues. i’m happy that we have attained this understanding…”
mayor lightfoot subsequently drops her opposition via a different announcement:
“after productive talks with the governor, we’ve agreed to permit a limited amount of gambling at sports venues subject to local oversight and control. these enhancements to the gambling proposal will permit us to maximize earnings capabilities of a new casino to the town of chicago and guarantee a good quality of life to our areas that might otherwise be impacted. as such, i recommend the passing of sb 690 as amended…”
illinois house votes yes on sports betting following a break for committee meetings and caucuses, rep bob rita documents a last amendment to the financing package. the sport betting language appears mostly unchanged in a glimpse, although there are a great deal of words to get through. the bill is called for second reading around 6 p.m. local time and moved directly to third.
by there, it is apparent that house lawmakers have reached an agreement to pass quite a few big bills — including this one — until the end of the night. the floor demonstration becomes something of a victory lap for rita, with several associates commending him for his broad efforts to shore up vertical infrastructure. in his closing, rita thanks rep. mike zalewski for his work.
the house votes 87-27 in favor of passage, sending the bill back to the chamber of origin for concurrence. the senate matches sunday in 3 p.m.
friday: last gasp for il sports betting prospects
friday was frantic at the state capitol, using an assortment of important issues to hammer on the last day of the scheduled session. lawmakers did create a dent in the pile of bills, but leaders were forced to issue a bad-news bulletin extending the work week during sunday.
although sports gambling remains unresolved, a significant effort has materialized.
rep. robert rita grabbed the reins on friday, borrowing in the frame of rep. mike zalewski to cobble together a compromise bill. his effort ran out of daylight on the house floor, but the bonus weekend of lawmaking means there is still hope for sports gambling this year.
while there’s a momentum, failure to cast a vote friday makes the job a little bit taller. any bills considered from here out there demand a 3/5ths supermajority to passa brink that could simply be out of reach.
here’s a chronological timeline of the day’s events:
a new vehicle for il sports betting lawmakers start the day behind closed doors, working to finalize the frame for il sports betting. most presume s 516 will function as the vehicle, a chicago casino invoice that appears to be a suitable target for the empowering language. a midday curveball, however, shifts the attention.
joe ostrowski is a chicago radio anchor who has had his ear to the ground this week, and he is the first to reveal that everyone is looking in the wrong place.
some optimism in springfield for sports gambling.
sb 690 should drop very soon.
7:22 pm – may 31, 2019
twitter ads information and privacy watch joe ostrowski’s other tweets
the bill he cites (s 690) is not a gaming bill, but a step amending tax provisions in the invest in kids act. the current version has already cleared the senate and awaits a floor vote in the lower room. unexpectedly, some anticipate house lawmakers to submit a new amendment linked to sports gambling.
sure enough, a placeholder pops up on the docket, using a hearing in the house executive committee scheduled for 1:30 p.m. local time. a change of host to sen. terry link provides another sign that something is going to happen.
lsr sources indicate that there’s good reason to track the dialogue all the way up before the last 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 gambling provisions, it also touches on taxes for smokes, parking, video lottery terminals, and numerous different mechanisms to boost state revenue. the total fiscal impact is near $1 billion, together with sports gambling representing only a tiny part of the bundle.
it’s the fastest of hearings, over in under five minutes. one member asks whether the bill increases the number of slot machines for each 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 house hearing by many hours.
when the committee eventually convenes, rep. mike zalewski is a surprise addition to the dais in the front of the room. although 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 replacements zalewski in as a temporary member to cast a vote in favour of passage.
without much lead time, the amendment attracts 34 proponents and nine opponents (which grows to 18). casino groups such as boyd gaming, penn national gaming, and the illinois casino association remain opposed to this last language.
members of the committee have plenty of questions, however, the majority of the conversation centers around gaming terms not related to sports betting. rita struggles to describe some of the finer points in detail, especially as they relate to draftkings and fanduel. it is complicated.
the language enables online platforms, but online-only companies can not seek licensure for the first 18 months of il sports betting. the host indicates he constructed his bill this way to”provide illinois companies a ramp” into the new industry. rita also notes that his amendment won’t affect the present status quo for dfs.
the committee recommends adoption of this change with an 8-5 vote, progressing the bill to the ground. there’s still a great deal of work left to do before adjournment, equally on sports gambling and on many of pivotal issues — such as the state funding.
previously, in illinois sports gambling…
this year’s attempt to legalize sports betting follows in the footsteps of the unsuccessful 2018 effort.
as it did last year, work started early in 2019. lawmakers cobbled together many different possible frameworks, each catering to a particular group of stakeholders. once more, 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 earnings from sports gambling, so there is more at stake than just the freedom to wager. failure would induce illinois to observe from the sidelines while its neighbors in indiana and iowa trigger their new legislation.
who will participate?
the concept of the”penalty box” is the biggest hurdle to a passing right now.
to make a long story short, some casino groups are working to maintain draftkings sportsbook and fanduel sportsbook out of the illinois market. they argue 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 actual motivation is, of course, a desire to eliminate competition in both businesses running away together with the new jersey sports gambling market.
draftkings responded by briefly running a television campaign pushing back on the obstruction 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 nation.
most previous proposals for il sports betting required payment of an integrity fee and the use of official league data to settle”tier 2″ wagers. no us sports gambling law includes 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 may stand between the bill and the end line.
who is in charge?
rep. mike zalewski carried the baton all spring, however, a lack of advancement and a perceived conflict of interest forced him to step aside in the 11th hour.
start-of-day intel suggests that rep. bob rita is actively working to stuff the allowing language into the wider gambling package before lawmakers head home for the year. in what could be seen as an encouraging sign, senate republican leader sen. dave syverson has signed on as a co-sponsor.
there is no warranty that bill moves, though, and perhaps it doesn’t contain sports gambling provisions even if it really does.
matt kredell contributed to the story.
illinois is 1 step away from legal sports betting after a last-ditch effort from rep. bob rita fell into place that weekend.