Illinois Governor Gets Two Sports Betting Bills to Sign

The Illinois Legislature passed two sports betting bills, but they look far different than when they were introduced. Now they await the signature of Governor J.B. Pritzker (l.)

Illinois Governor Gets Two Sports Betting Bills to Sign

Legislators in Illinois have delivered two sports betting-related bills to Governor J.B. Pritzker. It is expected the governor will sign the legislation into law just before the end of the legislative session. Three other bills related to gambling appear to be stuck and won’t make it to the floor for a vote.

The first passed bill had to do with online sports betting. The measure extends in-person betting on in-state college teams at sportsbooks for another year. SB0089 allows bettors to place pre-game, in-person wagers on Illinois schools through the 2023-24 season.

This was a late amendment added to another unrelated bill. The old agreement was set to expire on July 1 and this allows lawmakers time to see if they want to continue allowing online sportsbooks the ability to accept bets on in-state schools.

The other bill is also drastically different than originally written. It began with language that would require Illinois sportsbooks to provide bettors with hourly pop-up messages informing how much they’ve wagered. It would have included a link and phone numbers to problem gambling resources. That was meant to make it easier for those with a potential problem gambling to find help.

Now that was removed, however, and a provision to add new Illinois Lottery games took its place. The lottery can issue no more than 10 specialty scratch-off games.

Those are the only two gambling bills that appear to make it to the governor’s desk. Several other bills did not make it to the floor and are considered dead for this legislative session.

Those bills were measures to create an Internet Gaming Act. Two versions stalled in the House, while another failed to make it to a vote in the Senate.

In related news, the Legislature also passed Senate Bill 1462, which allows people with felony convictions to receive an occupational license from the Illinois Gaming Board to work in non-gaming positions at casinos. The law expands the hiring pool for Illinois casinos−a significant development since several new casinos will be opening in the state.

Sponsored by state Senator Robert Peters, the bill passed the Senate in March in a 44-12 vote. Endorsed by labor unions and the Illinois Gaming Board, the measure passed the House in a 78-27 vote. The measure now also awaits Governor Pritzker’s signature.