Illinois sports betting customers likely will be unable to place online wagers on in-state college teams for at least another year after lawmakers voted this week to extend the restriction.
The ban prohibiting IL sports betting apps from taking bets on in-state colleges was set to expire July 1. On Wednesday, the Senate voted 54-0 to extend it until July 1, 2024, an amendment tacked onto a larger bill (SB 84) amending environmental laws.
Once the bill is transmitted, Gov. JB Pritzker has 60 days to veto it or else it becomes law. Out of more than 1,000 bills to reach his desk last year, he vetoed just four, according to Legiscan.
Illinois college sports betting OK in-person
In-state college betting is still permitted at the state’s nine land-based sportsbooks.
Those wagers are restricted to “Tier 1” bets on the game spread, moneyline or total. Illinois bettors wagered $1.4 billion on college sports in 2022, $48.1 million of which were Tier 1 wagers at in-person sportsbooks, according to an annual report from the Illinois Gaming Board. Illinois bettors can wager on a larger catalog of bets like player props for out-of-state college teams.
At least one Illinois-based college has made the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament every year since the state began taking legal wagers. Two Illinois-based college football programs have made bowl games in that span: the University of Illinois in 2023 and Northwestern in 2021.
Temporary IL sports betting ban stays that way
Rep. Jonathan Carroll introduced a bill in April that would permanently lift the ban on in-state college teams from online sportsbooks. It did not move since its first reading.
This is the ban’s first extension from lawmakers. It was part of the bill that legalized Illinois sports betting in 2019 and at the time was viewed as a compromise between the state’s schools and Rep. Bob Rita, who took over the state’s gambling efforts for former Rep. Mike Zalewski.
The extension amendment introduced by Rita last week was swiftly approved in the House before hitting the Senate floor. His office could not be reached for comment.
College betting restrictions vary
Illinois is among only a dozen states that offer player prop bets on college sports in any form:
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- West Virginia
Like Illinois, New Jersey prohibits prop player bets on its in-state college teams.
Many other states, like New York and Massachusetts, have outright bans on in-state college betting, regardless of where bets are placed. Oregon bans all college sports from online betting, though some collegiate games are offered at its tribal casinos.