Illinois is one step away from legal sports gambling after a last-ditch campaign from Rep. Bob Rita dropped into place this weekend.
House lawmakers voted to approve a broad expansion of gaming within a funding financing bill on Saturday, and the Senate followed suit on Sunday. Gambling provisions within the act comprise a long-awaited casino in Chicago and authorization for both retail and internet sports gambling.
The bill now moves to the desk of Gov. J.B. Pritzker, whose current remarks make it clear he will sign it into law. The governor helped shepherd IL sports betting across the end line, seeking to drive over $200 million in extra earnings to his nation.
Passage was, frankly, a remarkable feat taking into consideration the absence of progress through the first five months of the year. Previous proposals from Rep. Mike Zalewski were 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 webpage as the situation unfolded. Here is the play-by-play:
Is Sunday the afternoon for Illinois sports gambling?
The Senate finally takes the floor following 4 p.m. local time. It doesn’t take long.
Sen. Terry Link presents the terms of the amended bill, which includes a total projected fiscal effect of $12 billion. Commendations and favorable comments from Sen. Dave Syverson, the Senate Minority Leader, appear to indicate that passing is a certainty.
Comments are brief and mostly surface-level, with a few lawmakers lugging around in narrow provisions which affect their constituents. Sen. John Curran is the only one who talks to sports betting at any given length, looking for clarification on the branding provisions for online platforms.
Link is psychological as he closes the event, representing on his 20-year effort to increase economic development 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 that, the bill that will legalize sports betting in Illinois is headed to the Senate.
IL sports betting bill as amended
Here’s the Complete text of the language:
What’s in the amendment?
The new vertical financing bill includes a multi-level gaming package headlined by a mega-casino at Chicago. The measure also has six categories of licensure for IL sports gambling:
Master sports wagering
Management services provider Tier two official league info supplier Central system supplier In plain terms, these classes make it possible for casinos, race tracks, and sports sites to offer sports betting — equally in-person and on the internet. The terms that concern online betting, nevertheless, require in-person registration for the first 18 months.
The amendment also authorizes a lottery implementation encompassing 2,500 locations 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 previous year. Casinos will cover 5% of the number to provide sports gambling for four decades up to a max of $10 million. That cap wasn’t current in recent versions and should alleviate the burden on big operators such as Rush Street Gaming. Rita also softened the projected tax rate down to 15 percent of earnings.
As you can infer from the categories, language mandating the use of official league info for props and in-play betting stuck. While there is absolutely no ethics fee, the invoice will not enable colleges and sports leagues to limit the kinds of accessible wagers. As written, in-state collegiate sports are off the board in Illinois.
The amendment removes the overall blackout period for internet gambling that snuck to an earlier version, but it does keep a modified penalty box for DraftKings and FanDuel. Daily fantasy sports businesses will be permitted to compete at the sports gambling arena, but just master licensees can offer online wagering for the first 18 months.
The amendment also generates three online-only permits costing $20 million apiece, awarded on a delay via a competitive process.
Saturday: Agreement reached for IL sports betting About three hours to the weekend session, we are still in a holding pattern. House lawmakers have ticked several more items off their to-do record now, such as a bill that increases the minimum salary for Illinois teachers. For now, however, there’s nothing new to report online sports betting.
Aside from the things we are already touched on, a couple other hurdles have cropped up.
Perhaps most importantly, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot publicly opposes the bill as written. Her principal concern is that the provision allowing sportsbooks inside of stadiums and arenas.
Mayoral resistance leads to’comprehension’
Here is the statement from Mayor Lightfoot, as mentioned by Capitol Fax:
« I firmly support a gaming bill that sends a brand new casino and dollars to the town of Chicago. However, I oppose the addition of a provision that would open sports wagering in areas like Soldier Field. This type of proposal has the capacity to undermine the viability of any Chicago-based casino via the diversion of customers and revenue from a casino. Because the effect of sports wagering in stadiums hasn’t been completely vetted or analyzed, I can’t support the bill in its present form and urge the deletion of this stadium-betting provision. »
On Saturday, however, the governor releases a follow-up statement indicating that the conversation is moving forward:
« I have spoken to Mayor Lightfoot concerning her issues with regards 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 limitations on both the amount of and locations for sports betting venues. I am pleased that we’ve attained this understanding… »
Mayor Lightfoot subsequently drops her opposition via a different announcement:
« After productive discussions with the Governor, we’ve agreed to allow a limited quantity of betting at sports venues subject to local oversight and control. These enhancements to the gaming proposition will permit us to maximize earnings capabilities of a brand new casino for the City of Chicago and guarantee a fantastic quality of life for our areas which may otherwise be affected. As such, 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 files a final amendment to the funding package. The sports gambling language looks mostly unchanged at a glance, although there are a great deal of words to get through. The bill is known as second reading about 6 p.m. local time and moved straight to third.
By that point, it is apparent that House lawmakers have reached an agreement to pass a number of large bills — including this one — until the end of the night. The ground presentation 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 passage, sending the bill back into the room of origin for concurrence. The Senate matches Sunday at 3 p.m.
Friday: Last gasp for IL sports gambling prospects
Friday was frantic in the state capitol, using a myriad of key issues to hammer on the final day of the scheduled session. Lawmakers did create a dent in the pile of bills, but leaders had been made to issue a bad-news bulletin extending the work week during Sunday.
Although sports betting remains stagnant, a significant effort has materialized.
Rep. Robert Rita captured the reins on Friday, borrowing from the framework of Rep. Mike Zalewski to cobble together a compromise bill. His campaign ran out of daylight on the House floor, however, the bonus weekend of lawmaking means there’s still hope for sports betting this year.
While there’s some momentum, failure to cast a vote on Friday makes the job a little bit taller. Any bills considered from here on out require a 3/5ths supermajority to pass, a threshold which could just be out of reach.
Here’s a chronological timeline of this day’s events:
A new automobile for IL sports betting Lawmakers begin the day behind closed doors, working to finalize the framework for IL sports gambling. Most presume S 516 will function as the car, a Chicago casino invoice 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 floor this week, and he’s the first to reveal that everybody is looking in the wrong place.
Some optimism in Springfield for sports betting.
SB 690 should drop very soon.
7:22 PM – May 31, 2019
Twitter Ads info and privacy Watch Joe Ostrowski’s additional Tweets
The bill he references (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 in the lower room. Suddenly, some expect House lawmakers to submit a new amendment related to sports gambling.
Sure enough, a placeholder pops upon the docket, with 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 excellent reason to monitor the conversation all the way up until the last gavel.
Senate Appropriations committee hearing
Sen. Link gifts the amended bill to the committee, and… boy, is there a lot in it.
Along with the gambling provisions, it also rolls taxes for cigarettes, parking, video lottery terminals, and a number of other mechanisms to increase state revenue. The total fiscal impact is close to $1 billion, with sport betting representing only a tiny part of the bundle.
It’s the fastest of hearings, over in under five minutes. 1 member inquires whether the bill raises the number of slot machines for every casino licensee — it will — and that’s about it.
House Executive committee hearing
A heated floor debate on a marijuana bill (which finally passed) delays the House 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. Although the long-suffering proponent of IL sports gambling recently stepped back from the spotlight, Rita’s bill lists him as the primary House sponsor. The committee replacements Zalewski in as a temporary member to cast a vote in favor of passing.
Without much lead time, the change 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 in relation to the final language.
Members of the committee have loads of questions, however, the bulk of the discussion centers around gambling provisions not related to sports gambling. Rita struggles to explain some of the finer points in detail, especially as they relate to DraftKings and FanDuel. It is complex.
The language enables online platforms, but online-only companies can not find licensure for the initial 18 months of IL sports gambling. The host suggests he built his bill this way to »give Illinois businesses a ramp » to the new sector. Rita also notes that his amendment will not affect the present status quo for DFS.
The committee advocates adoption of the amendment with an 8-5 vote, advancing the bill to the floor. There’s still a lot of work left to do before adjournment, equally on sports betting and on a number of pivotal issues — such as the state funding.
Previously, in Illinois sports betting…
This year’s effort to legalize sports gambling follows in the footsteps of the failed 2018 effort.
As it did this past year, work began early in 2019. Lawmakers cobbled together a variety of possible frameworks, each catering to a particular group of stakeholders. Yet more, however, nothing widely palatable had emerged since the past couple of hours of session ticked off the clock.
The proposed funding from Gov. J.B. Pritzker includes $217 million in earnings from sports gambling, so there’s more at stake than just the liberty to wager. Failure would force Illinois to watch from the sidelines while its neighbors in Indiana and Iowa activate their new legislation.
Who can participate?
The notion of the »penalty box » is the biggest hurdle to a passing at the moment.
To make a long story short, some casino groups are working to maintain DraftKings Sportsbook and FanDuel Sportsbook out of the Illinois marketplace. They assert that daily fantasy sports isn’t explicitly lawful in the state, and these so-called bad actors should be excluded from licensure for 3 decades. The actual motivation is, clearly, that a desire to eliminate competition in both businesses working away with the New Jersey sports betting market.
DraftKings responded by temporarily running a tv campaign pushing back to the obstruction from Rush Street Gaming.
How much will it cost?
The sport leagues have also gained more leverage with Illinois lawmakers than they have elsewhere in the country.
Most previous tips for IL sports betting required payment of a ethics fee and using official league information to settle »Tier 2″ wagers. No US sports betting law includes a ethics fee, and Tennessee is the only one that has an info mandate.
Coupled with licensing prices topping out at $25 million and taxes amounting to 20% of revenue, these operational burdens may stand between the invoice and the end line.
Who is in charge?
Rep. Mike Zalewski carried the baton all spring, however, a lack of advancement and also 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 material the allowing language into the wider gaming 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 as a co-sponsor.
There is no guarantee that bill moves, though, and perhaps it doesn’t contain sports gambling provisions even if it does.
Matt Kredell contributed to this story.
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