Illinois is 1 step away from legal sports betting after a last-ditch campaign from Rep. Bob Rita fell into place this weekend.
House lawmakers voted to approve a broad expansion of gaming 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 online sports betting.
The bill goes to the desk of Gov. J.B. Pritzker, whose recent remarks make it clear he will sign it into law. The governor helped shepherd IL sports gambling across the finish line, seeking to drive over $200 million in extra revenue to his state.
Passage was, frankly, a remarkable feat considering the lack of advancement during the first five weeks of the year. Previous hints from Rep. Mike Zalewski were turned aside, and also a perceived conflict of interest forced him to step back in the final days of session.
LSR continues to be keeping a close eye on the chatter this weekend and updating this page as the situation unfolded. Here’s the play-by-play:
Is Sunday the day for Illinois sports betting?
The Senate eventually takes the ground after 4 p.m. local time. It does not take long.
Sen. Terry Link presents the terms of the amended bill, which includes a total projected fiscal impact of $12 billion. Commendations and favorable comments from Sen. Dave Syverson, the Senate Minority Leader, appear to signal that passing is a certainty.
Opinions are brief and largely surface-level, with a few lawmakers lugging around in narrow provisions which affect their components. Sen. John Curran is the only one who speaks to sports betting at any given length, seeking clarification about the branding provisions for internet platforms.
Link is psychological as he closes the event, representing on his 20-year effort to improve economic growth 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 that, the bill that will legalize sports gambling in Illinois is led to the Senate.
IL sports betting bill as amended
Here’s the Complete text of the language:
What is in the amendment?
The new vertical financing bill contains a multi-level gaming package headlined by a mega-casino at Chicago. The measure 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 stark terms, these categories make it possible for casinos, race tracks, and sports venues to provide sports gambling — equally in-person and on the internet. The terms that concern online gambling, however, require in-person enrollment for the initial 18 months.
The amendment also authorizes a lottery implementation encompassing 2,500 locations 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 last calendar year. Casinos will cover 5 percent of the number to offer sports betting for four years, up to a maximum of $10 million. That cap was not current in recent versions and should alleviate the load on big operators such as 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 data for props and in-play gambling stuck. While there is no integrity fee, the invoice will not empower colleges and sports leagues to limit the types of available wagers. As composed, weatherproof collegiate sports are off the board in Illinois.
The change removes the total blackout period for internet 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 at the sport gambling arena, but only master licensees can provide online wagering for the initial 18 months.
The amendment also generates three online-only permits costing $20 million apiece, awarded on a delay by means of a competitive process.
Saturday: Agreement reached for IL sports betting Around three hours to the weekend semester, we’re still in a holding pattern. House lawmakers have ticked several more things off their to-do list today, including a bill that raises the minimum wages for Illinois teachers. For now, though, there’s nothing new to report on sports gambling.
Apart from the things we are already touched on, a few other hurdles have cropped up.
Perhaps most importantly, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot publicly opposes the bill as written. Her main concern is the provision allowing sportsbooks inside of stadiums and arenas.
Mayoral opposition leads to’understanding’
Here is the statement from Mayor Lightfoot, as mentioned by Capitol Fax:
“I strongly support a gambling bill that directs a new casino and dollars to the city of Chicago. But, I oppose the inclusion of a provision which would open sports wagering in areas like Soldier Field. This type of proposal has the potential to undermine the viability of any Chicago-based casino through the recreation of customers and revenue from a casino. Since the impact of sports wagering in stadiums hasn’t been completely vetted or analyzed, I can’t support the bill in its current form and advocate the deletion of the stadium-betting provision”
On Saturday, but the government releases a follow-up announcement indicating that the conversation is still moving ahead:
“I have spoken to Mayor Lightfoot about her issues with respect to sports betting, and we’ve collaboratively worked with the bill sponsors to make clear that the legislative purpose will reveal that there are limitations on both the amount of and locations for sports gambling venues. I’m pleased that we’ve reached this understanding…”
Mayor Lightfoot then drops her resistance via another announcement:
“After successful discussions with the Governor, we have agreed to permit a limited amount of betting at sports areas subject to local oversight and control. These enhancements to the gaming proposal will allow us to maximize earnings capabilities of a brand new casino to the City of Chicago and guarantee a good quality of life for our areas that might otherwise be affected. Therefore, I urge the passage of SB 690 as amended…”
Illinois House votes yes on sports gambling After a break for committee meetings and caucuses, Rep Bob Rita documents a last amendment to the funding package. The sports gambling language looks mostly unchanged in a glance, although there are a lot 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 evident that House lawmakers have reached an agreement to pass a number of large bills — including this one — before the end of the evening. The ground demonstration becomes something of a victory lap for Rita, with several members 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 room of origin for concurrence. The Senate meets Sunday at 3 p.m.
Friday: Last gasp for IL sports gambling prospects
Friday was frantic at the state capitol, with a myriad of key issues to hammer on the final day of the scheduled session. Lawmakers did make a dent in the pile of invoices, but leaders were made to issue a bad-news bulletin stretching the work week during Sunday.
Although sports betting remains stagnant, a significant effort has materialized.
Rep. Robert Rita captured the reins on Friday, borrowing in the framework of Rep. Mike Zalewski to cobble together a compromise bill. His campaign ran from daylight on the House floor, but the bonus weekend of lawmaking means there’s still hope for sports gambling this season.
Even though there’s some momentum, failure to cast a vote Friday makes the task just a little bit taller. Any bills considered from here out there demand a 3/5ths supermajority to pass, a threshold that may simply be out of reach.
Here’s a chronological timeline of the day’s events:
A brand new automobile 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 function as the car, a Chicago casino bill that appears to be a suitable target for the empowering language. A midday curveball, however, shifts the focus.
Joe Ostrowski is a Chicago radio anchor who’s had his ear to the ground this week, and he’s the first to reveal that everybody is looking in the incorrect location.
Some optimism in Springfield for sport betting.
SB 690 should shed very soon.
7:22 PM – May 31, 2019
Twitter Ads info and privacy See Joe Ostrowski’s additional Tweets
The bill he cites (S 690) is not a gambling bill, but a measure amending tax provisions in the Invest in Kids Act. The present version has cleared the Senate and awaits a floor vote at the lower room. Suddenly, some expect House lawmakers to file a new amendment related to sports gambling.
Sure enough, a placeholder pops up on the docket, with a hearing at the House Executive committee scheduled for 1:30 p.m. local time. A change of sponsor to Sen. Terry Link provides another indication that something is going to happen.
LSR sources suggest that there’s excellent reason to monitor the dialogue all the way up before the past 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 cigarettes, parking, video lottery terminals, and a number of other mechanisms to boost state revenue. The overall fiscal impact is near $1 billion, with sports gambling representing just a very small component of the bundle.
It is the fastest of hearings, within under five minutes. 1 member asks whether the bill increases the amount of slot machines for every casino licensee — it does — 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 several hours.
When the committee finally 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 from the spotlight, Rita’s bill still lists him as the first House sponsor. The committee substitutes Zalewski in as a temporary member to cast a vote in favor of passage.
Without much lead time, the amendment brings 34 proponents and nine competitions (which later grows to 18). Casino groups including Boyd Gaming, Penn National Gaming, and the Illinois Casino Association remain in relation to this Last language.
Members of this committee have loads of questions, however, the bulk of the conversation centers around gambling provisions not related to sports gambling. Rita struggles to describe some of the finer points in detail, particularly as they relate to DraftKings and FanDuel. It is complex.
The language allows online platforms, but online-only companies can not seek licensure for the initial 18 months of IL sports gambling. The host indicates he built his bill that way to”give Illinois businesses a ramp” into the new industry. Rita also notes that his amendment won’t affect the present status quo for DFS.
The committee advocates adoption of the change by an 8-5 vote, advancing the bill to the ground. There’s still a great deal of work left to do before adjournment, both on sports gambling and on many of critical issues — including the state funding.
Formerly, in Illinois sports gambling…
This year’s attempt to legalize sports gambling follows in the footsteps of the unsuccessful 2018 effort.
As it did last year, work began early in 2019. Lawmakers cobbled together a variety of possible frameworks, each catering to a particular group of stakeholders. Yet again, though, nothing widely palatable had emerged as the last few 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 liberty to bet. Failure would force 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 hurdle to a passing at the moment.
To make a long story short, a few casino collections are working to keep DraftKings Sportsbook and FanDuel Sportsbook out of the Illinois market. They assert that daily fantasy sports is not explicitly legal in the state, and these so-called bad actors should be excluded from licensure for three years. The real motivation is, clearly, a desire to eliminate competition from both companies running away with the New Jersey sports betting market.
DraftKings responded by briefly running a television campaign pushing back on the barrier from Rush Street Gaming.
How much will it cost?
The sport leagues have also gained greater leverage with Illinois lawmakers than they have elsewhere in the country.
Most previous proposals for IL sports gambling required payment of a ethics fee and the use of official league information to repay”Tier 2″ wagers. No US sports gambling law includes a ethics fee, and Tennessee is the only one that has an info mandate.
Coupled with licensing fees payable out at $25 million and taxes amounting to 20 percent of revenue, these operational burdens may stand between the invoice and the finish line.
Who’s in charge?
Rep. Mike Zalewski carried the baton all spring, however, a lack of progress and 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 stuff the allowing language in the broader gaming 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 as a co-sponsor.
There is no warranty that bill moves, though, and it may not include sports gambling provisions even if it does.
Matt Kredell contributed to this story.
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