Illinois has looked at online casinos, daily fantasy sports in recent years
Legal Sports Report

Illinois Sports Betting Bill Surfaces As Interest Ramps Up Across The US

IL sports betting bill

It seems like a new sports betting bill — or at least the possibility of one — surfaces almost daily in US jurisdictions in recent weeks.

The latest example comes in Illinois, which has not seriously tackled the topic of sports betting to date:

Like efforts around the country, Illinois would need a change to federal law in order to offer sports gambling. That could come as soon as the first half of this year, if the US Supreme Court strikes down the federal ban in the New Jersey sports betting case.

More than a dozen states have eyed legal sports betting in recent weeks.

What we know so far about the Illinois sports betting effort

H 4214 is just a placeholder bill for now, but the intent appears to be to fill it with language that would regulate sports wagering in the state.

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Lou Lang, states it “creates the Legalization and Regulation of Sports Betting Act.”

Lang has been involved in gaming issues in the state previously, at one time advocating for a Chicago casino.

The landscape in Illinois

How sports betting would go down in Illinois is not clear, but the state has casinos, video gaming terminals and horse racing tracks, all of which would likely want to be involved with sports wagering if possible. There is also the Illinois Lottery.

Last year, a bill that would have legalized online casinos and daily fantasy sports made it through the Senate but stalled in the House.

The idea of a more expansive gaming package in 2018 has been floated by Rep. Michael Zalewski, who has spearheaded efforts to legalize DFS. There is at least a possibility sports betting regulation could be folded into such a bill.

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Dustin Gouker
- Dustin Gouker has been a sports journalist for more than 15 years, working as a reporter, editor and designer -- including stops at The Washington Post and the D.C. Examiner.