Illinois close to sports gambling approval
The state would love to get in on the March Madness madness
While some states have already approved sports gambling legislation, allowing their residents to get in on the March Madness betting action, Illinois hasn’t quite made it. Lawmakers in the state are feverishly hoping to change this, though, and are working on bills to allow Illinoisans to gamble on sporting events. Some of the lawmakers are so desperate to have the legislation approved that they are exclusively eating, drinking and sleeping sports gambling.
Lawmakers are currently reviewing four different sports gambling proposals, at least one of which would allow sports wagers at off-track betting parlors. Representative Mike Zalewski explains, “They each have a little bit of something different, designed to spur a conversation.” He adds, “Any gaming bill is difficult to get through, and we’re probably going to need the governor’s help to pass something like this. But I’m also confident my colleagues are interested in this topic and want to see the state benefit from it.”
The lawmakers have adopted a sports gambling framework that resembles, in many ways, that of New Jersey. The reason is simple – New Jersey works and the incorporation of similar language should help any final bill make it through the political gauntlet quicker so it can be signed by Governor J.B. Pritzker. Pritzker has already stated that he is in favor of sports gambling.
Zalewski states, “I think the New Jersey model is what most people expected [Illinois’] to look like. It’s kinder to existing bricks-and-mortar and racetrack casinos, gives them the first slice at implementing it, and has a reasonable tax rate.”
Lawmakers should have a sports gambling plan approved before the current session ends at the end of May.