Pritzker Proposes Major Illinois Sports Betting Tax Rate Hike

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Illinois sports betting

In his proposed budget this week, Gov. JB Pritzker suggested more than doubling Illinois sports betting taxes to help cover rising state expenses.

Pritzker unveiled his $52.7 billion proposed budget Wednesday. To help fill gaps in the spending plan, the governor asked to raise taxes for businesses and Illinois sports betting.

“I wish we had big surpluses to work with this year to take on every one of the very real challenges we face,” Pritzker said Wednesday. “It’s important to note that while this budget is tight this year, our fiscal house is in order, and we are able to keep our commitments to the people of Illinois.”

IL sports betting tax proposal 

Pritzker’s budget is a 2% increase from the current fiscal year. It includes more money for migrant and homeless assistance and education.

To help cover the increase, Pritzker suggests raising sports betting revenue tax from 15% to 35%.

That could generate an estimated $200 million. Along with an extension of a cap on corporate tax deductions, the proposal estimates there could be a $128 million surplus rather than a deficit of more than $700 million.

Illinois revenue since launch

Since launching sports betting in March 2020, Illinois sportsbooks have taken more than $30.3 billion in wagers. 

The operators have generated $2.5 billion in revenue.

The state has collected $393.6 million in taxes.

Pritzker’s sports betting changes

Pritzker has a history of sports betting tinkering. Illinois sports betting law included an in-person registration requirement that was slated to phase out in March 2022

However, he suspended the in-person requirement during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. With remote registration, Illinois sports betting took off.

The suspension of the in-person rule expired in April 2021 and lasted until March 2022. Illinois sportsbooks continue to set records, including a $1.4 billion handle in November 2023.

Other US sports betting tax changes

Last year, shortly after Ohio sports betting rolled out, lawmakers raised the state’s tax rate.

Lawmakers initially set the Ohio tax at 10% in 2021. In the 2024 and 2025 biennial budget, lawmakers approved a hike to 20%.

Gov. Mike DeWine signed the budget in July 2023.