Illinois is one step away from sports betting after a last-ditch campaign by Rep. Bob Rita dropped into place this weekend.
House lawmakers voted to approve a wide expansion of gaming inside a capital funding bill on Saturday, and the Senate followed suit on Sunday. Gambling provisions within the act include a long-awaited casino in Chicago and consent for both retail and online sports gambling.
The bill goes to the desk of Gov. J.B. Pritzker, whose current remarks make it clear he will sign it into law. The governor helped shepherd IL sports betting across the finish line, wanting to drive over $200 million in extra revenue to his state.
Passage was, frankly, a remarkable accomplishment considering the absence of progress during the first five months of this year. Previous proposals from Rep. Mike Zalewski were turned aside, and a perceived conflict of interest forced him to step back at the final days of session.
LSR continues to be keeping a close eye on the chatter this weekend and updating this page as the situation unfolded. Here’s the play-by-play:
Is Sunday the afternoon for Illinois sports betting?
The Senate eventually takes the ground following 4 p.m. local time. It does not take long.
Sen. Terry Link presents the terms of the amended bill, which carries a complete projected financial impact of $12 billion. Commendations and positive comments from Sen. Dave Syverson, the Senate Minority Leader, appear to indicate that passing is a certainty.
Opinions are brief and mostly surface-level, using a few lawmakers lugging around in narrow provisions that affect their constituents. Sen. John Curran is the only one who speaks to sports betting at any length, looking for clarification on the branding provisions for online platforms.
Link is emotional as he shuts the proceedings, representing on his 20-year effort to increase economic development from manufacturing.
The room applauds as the board lights up green, and also the Senate concurs with the House changes with a 46-10 vote. Just like this, the bill that will legalize sports betting in Illinois is headed to the governor.
IL sports betting bill as amended
Here is the Complete text of this language:
What is in the change?
The new vertical funding bill includes a multi-level gaming package headlined by a mega-casino at Chicago. The step also offers six categories of licensure for IL sports betting:
Master sports wagering
Occupational
Supplier
Management services supplier Tier 2 official league info supplier Central system provider In plain terms, these classes make it possible for casinos, race tracks, and sports venues to provide sports betting — both in-person and on the internet. The terms that concern online gambling, nevertheless, require in-person registration for the initial 18 months.
The amendment also authorizes a lottery implementation encompassing 2,500 places in the very first year.
IL sports gambling details
The commission for a master sports gambling license is calculated based on gross gaming revenue from the previous year. Casinos will pay 5% of the number to offer sports gambling for four decades up to a maximum of $10 million. That cap was not current in recent versions and should alleviate the load on big operators such as Rush Street Gaming. Rita also softened the proposed tax rate down to 15 percent of revenue.
As you can infer from the classes, language mandating the use of official league info for props and in-play betting stuck. Even though there is absolutely no ethics fee, the invoice does enable colleges and sports leagues to limit the kinds of available wagers. As written, in-state collegiate sports are completely off the plank in Illinois.
The amendment removes the overall blackout period for online betting that snuck into a previous version, but it does keep a modified penalty box for DraftKings and FanDuel. Daily fantasy sports businesses will be allowed to compete at the sports gambling arena, but only master licensees can provide online wagering for the first 18 months.
The change also generates three online-only licenses costing $20 million apiece, awarded on a delay by means of a competitive process.
Saturday: Agreement reached for IL sports betting Around three hours to the weekend session, we are still in a holding pattern. House lawmakers have ticked several more things off their to-do list today, including a bill that raises the minimum salary for Illinois teachers. For now, though, there’s nothing new to report on sports gambling.
Aside from the things we are already touched on, a couple other hurdles have cropped up.
Perhaps most importantly, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot publicly opposes the bill as written. Her main concern is that the provision allowing sportsbooks inside of stadiums and arenas.
Mayoral resistance leads to’understanding’
Here’s the statement from Mayor Lightfoot, as mentioned by Capitol Fax:
“I strongly support a gaming bill that sends a new casino and dollars to the town of Chicago. However, I oppose the inclusion of a provision which could open sports wagering in areas like Soldier Field. Such a proposal has the capacity to undermine the viability of any Chicago-based casino through the diversion of customers and revenue from a casino. Because the effect of sports wagering in stadiums hasn’t been completely vetted or examined, I cannot support the bill in its current form and urge the deletion of the stadium-betting provision”
On Saturday, but the governor releases a follow-up statement indicating that the dialogue is moving ahead:
“I’ve spoken to Mayor Lightfoot about her issues with respect to sports betting, and we have collaboratively worked with the bill sponsors to make clear that the legislative purpose will reveal that there are limits on both the number of and locations for sports gambling venues. I am happy that we have reached this understanding…”
Mayor Lightfoot subsequently drops her opposition via another announcement:
“After productive discussions with the Governor, we have agreed to allow a limited amount of betting at sports venues subject to local oversight and control. These improvements to the gambling proposition will allow us to maximize earnings capabilities of a new casino to the Town of Chicago and guarantee a fantastic quality of life for our neighborhoods which may otherwise be impacted. As such, I urge the passage of SB 690 as amended…”
Illinois House votes on sports betting Following a break for committee meetings and caucuses, Rep Bob Rita documents a last amendment to the financing package. The sports gambling language appears mostly unchanged at a glance, although there are a great deal of words to get through. The bill is known as second reading around 6 p.m. local time and proceeded straight to third.
By there, it is evident that House lawmakers have reached an agreement to pass quite a few big bills — such as this one — before the end of the night. The floor presentation becomes something of a victory lap for Rita, with different members commending him for his wide efforts to shore up vertical infrastructure. In his final, Rita thanks Rep. Mike Zalewski because of his work.
The House votes 87-27 in favor of passing, sending the bill back into the chamber of origin for concurrence. The Senate matches Sunday at 3 p.m.
Friday: Last gasp for IL sports betting prospects
Friday was frantic in the state capitol, with a myriad of key issues to hammer out on the last day of the scheduled session. Lawmakers did create a dent in the pile of invoices, but leaders were made to issue a bad-news bulletin stretching the work week through Sunday.
Although sports betting remains stagnant, a substantial effort has materialized.
Rep. Robert Rita grabbed the reins on Friday, borrowing in the framework of Rep. Mike Zalewski to cobble together a compromise bill. His effort ran out of daylight on the House floor, however, the bonus weekend of lawmaking means there’s still hope for sports betting this year.
While there is some momentum, failure to cast a vote on Friday makes the task just a little bit taller. Any bills considered from here on out require a 3/5ths supermajority to pass, a threshold which may just be out of reach.
Here’s a chronological timeline of the day’s events:
A brand new vehicle for IL sports betting Lawmakers start the day behind closed doors, working to finalize the framework for IL sports betting. Most assume S 516 will serve as the vehicle, a Chicago casino invoice that seems to be an appropriate target for the empowering language. A midday curveball, however, shifts the focus.
Joe Ostrowski is a Chicago radio anchor who has had his ear to the floor this week, and he’s the first to reveal that everyone is looking in the wrong location.
Joe Ostrowski
???
@JoeO670
Some optimism in Springfield for sport betting.
SB 690 should drop very soon.
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7:22 PM – May 31, 2019
Twitter Ads information and solitude Watch Joe Ostrowski’s other Tweets
The invoice he cites (S 690) isn’t a gaming bill, but a step amending tax provisions in the Invest in Kids Act. The present version has already cleared the Senate and awaits a floor vote at the lower chamber. Unexpectedly, some anticipate House lawmakers to file a new amendment linked to sports gambling.
Sure enough, a placeholder pops upon the docket, with a hearing at the House Executive committee scheduled for 1:30 p.m. local time. A change of sponsor to Sen. Terry Link provides another indication that something is about to happen.
LSR sources indicate that there’s good reason to monitor the dialogue all the way up until the past gavel.
Senate Appropriations committee hearing
Sen. Link gifts the amended bill to the committee, and… boy, is there a lot in it.
In addition to the gaming provisions, it also touches on taxes for smokes, parking, video lottery terminals, and a number of other mechanisms to boost state revenue. The overall fiscal impact is near $1 billion, together with sport betting representing only a tiny part of the bundle.
It is the quickest of hearings, within under five minutes. 1 member inquires whether or not the bill increases the amount of slot machines for every casino licensee — it will — and that’s about it.
House Executive committee hearing
A heated floor debate on a marijuana bill (which finally passed) delays the home hearing by several hours.
After the committee finally convenes, Rep. Mike Zalewski is a surprise addition to the dais in the front of the room. Even though the long-suffering proponent of IL sports betting recently stepped back from the spotlight, Rita’s bill still lists him as the first House sponsor. The committee replacements Zalewski in as a temporary member to cast a vote in favor of passing.
Without much lead time, the change attracts 34 proponents and nine competitions (which later grows to 18). Casino groups including Boyd Gaming, Penn National Gaming, and the Illinois Casino Association remain in relation to the Last language.
Members of this committee have loads of questions, but the majority of the conversation centers around gambling provisions not related to sports betting. Rita struggles to describe some of the finer points in detail, especially as they relate to DraftKings and FanDuel. It is complicated.
The language enables online platforms, but online-only companies can’t seek licensure for the first 18 months of IL sports gambling. The host suggests he built his bill that way to”give Illinois businesses a ramp” to the new sector. Rita also notes that his amendment won’t affect the present status quo for DFS.
The committee recommends adoption of this amendment by an 8-5 vote, advancing the bill to the floor. There’s still a great deal of work left to do prior to adjournment, equally on sports betting and on a number of critical issues — such as the state funding.
Formerly, in Illinois sports betting…
This year’s effort to legalize sports betting follows in the footsteps of this failed 2018 effort.
As it did last year, work started early in 2019. Lawmakers cobbled together many different potential frameworks, each catering to a particular set of stakeholders. Once more, though, nothing widely palatable had emerged since the last few hours of session ticked off the clock.
The proposed budget from Gov. J.B. Pritzker includes $217 million in revenue from sports gambling, so there is more at stake than just the liberty to wager. Failure would induce Illinois to observe from the sidelines while its neighbors at Indiana and Iowa trigger their new laws.
Who can participate?
The notion of the”penalty box” is your biggest barrier to some passing at the moment.
To make a long story short, a few casino collections are working to maintain DraftKings Sportsbook and FanDuel Sportsbook out of the Illinois marketplace. They argue that daily fantasy sports is not explicitly lawful in the country, and these so-called awful actors should be excluded from licensure for three years. The real motivation is, clearly, that a desire to get rid of competition in both businesses running away with all the New Jersey sports betting market.
DraftKings responded by briefly running a tv campaign pushing back to the barrier from Rush Street Gaming.
How much will it cost?
The sport leagues have also gained greater leverage with Illinois lawmakers than they have elsewhere in the country.
Most previous proposals for IL sports betting required payment of a ethics fee and the use of official league information to repay”Tier 2″ wagers. No US sports betting legislation comprises a ethics fee, and Tennessee is the only one with an info mandate.
Coupled with licensing fees topping out at $25 million and taxes amounting to 20% of earnings, these operational burdens can stand between the invoice and the finish line.
Who’s in charge?
Rep. Mike Zalewski carried the baton all spring, however, a lack of progress and also a perceived conflict of interest forced him to step aside in the 11th hour.
Start-of-day intel indicates that Rep. Bob Rita is actively working to stuff the enabling language into the wider gaming package before lawmakers head home for the year. In what could be regarded as an encouraging sign, Senate Republican Leader Sen. Dave Syverson has signed as a co-sponsor.
There’s no guarantee that bill moves, however, and perhaps it doesn’t contain sports betting provisions even when it really does.
Matt Kredell contributed to the story.
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