Illinois is 1 step away from sports gambling after a last-ditch effort from Rep. Bob Rita fell into place this weekend.
House lawmakers voted to approve a broad expansion of gaming inside a funding financing bill on Saturday, and the Senate followed suit on Sunday. Gambling provisions within the act include a long-awaited casino in Chicago and authorization for both retail and internet sports gambling.
The bill goes to the desk of Gov. J.B. Pritzker, whose current remarks make it clear he’ll sign it into law. The governor helped shepherd IL sports gambling across the end line, seeking to drive over $200 million in extra earnings to his nation.
Passage was, honestly, a remarkable accomplishment considering the absence of advancement during the first five months of this year. Previous hints from Rep. Mike Zalewski were turned aside, and also a perceived conflict of interest forced him to step back in the last 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 is the play-by-play:
Is Sunday the afternoon for Illinois sports betting?
The Senate finally takes the ground after 4 p.m. local time. It doesn’t take long.
Sen. Terry Link presents the conditions of this amended bill, which includes a total projected financial effect of $12 billion. Commendations and favorable comments from Sen. Dave Syverson, the Senate Minority Leader, seem to signal that passing is a certainty.
Opinions are brief and mostly surface-level, using a couple lawmakers lugging around in narrow provisions that affect their constituents. Sen. John Curran is the only person who speaks to sports betting at any length, looking for clarification about the branding provisions for internet platforms.
Link is psychological as he shuts the proceedings, reflecting on his 20-year effort to increase economic growth from manufacturing.
The room applauds as the board lights up green, and the Senate concurs with the House changes with a 46-10 vote. Just like that, the bill that will legalize sports gambling in Illinois is headed to the governor.
IL sports gambling bill as amended
Here is the full text of this language:
What is in the amendment?
The new vertical financing bill contains a multi-level gaming package headlined by a mega-casino at Chicago. The step also has six categories of licensure for IL sports betting:
Master sports wagering
Management services supplier Tier two official league data provider Central system provider In stark terms, these classes allow casinos, race tracks, and sports venues to provide sports betting — equally in-person and online. The terms that concern online betting, nevertheless, require in-person enrollment for the initial 18 months.
The amendment also authorizes a lottery implementation encompassing 2,500 places in the first year.
IL sports betting details
The fee for a master sports gambling license is calculated based on gross gaming revenue from the last calendar year. Casinos will cover 5% of the number to provide sports betting for four decades up to a maximum of $10 million. That cap was not present in recent versions and should ease the load on large operators like Rush Street Gaming. Rita also softened the projected tax rate down to 15 percent of revenue.
As you can infer from the categories, language mandating using official league info for props and in-play betting stuck. While there’s no integrity fee, the bill will not enable colleges and sports leagues to limit the types of accessible wagers. As composed, weatherproof collegiate sports are completely off the board in Illinois.
The amendment removes the total blackout period for internet betting that snuck to a previous version, but it will keep a modified penalty box for DraftKings and FanDuel. Daily fantasy sports companies will be allowed to compete at the sports betting arena, but just master licensees can provide online wagering for the initial 18 months.
The change also generates three online-only permits 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 semester, we’re still in a holding pattern. House lawmakers have ticked several more things off their to-do record today, such as a bill that raises the minimum wages for Illinois teachers. For now, though, there’s nothing new to report on sports betting.
Aside from the things we are already touched , a few other hurdles have cropped up.
Perhaps most notably, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot publicly opposes the bill as written. Her main concern is that the provision allowing sportsbooks interior of stadiums and arenas.
Mayoral opposition leads to’understanding’
Here is the announcement from Mayor Lightfoot, as mentioned by Capitol Fax:
“I firmly support a gaming bill that directs a new casino and dollars to the town of Chicago. But, I oppose the addition of a provision that would open up sports wagering in venues like Soldier Field. Such a proposal has the potential to undermine the viability of any Chicago-based casino through the diversion of customers and revenue from a casino. Because the impact of sports wagering in stadiums hasn’t been completely assessed or examined, I cannot support the bill in its current form and advocate the deletion of this stadium-betting provision.”
On Saturday, however, the governor releases a followup statement indicating that the dialogue is still moving forward:
“I have spoken to Mayor Lightfoot concerning her issues with respect to sports betting, and we have reluctantly worked together with the bill sponsors to make clear that the legislative purpose will reflect that there are limitations on both the number of and places for sports gambling venues. I’m happy that we have attained this understanding…”
Mayor Lightfoot subsequently drops her opposition via another announcement:
“After successful talks with the Governor, we’ve agreed to allow a limited quantity of gambling at sports venues subject to local control and oversight. These improvements to the gambling proposition will permit us to maximize revenue capabilities of a brand new casino to the Town of Chicago and guarantee a good quality of life for our areas that might otherwise be affected. Therefore, I urge the passing of SB 690 as amended…”
Illinois House votes yes on sports betting Following a break for committee meetings and caucuses, Rep Bob Rita files a last amendment to the funding package. The sports betting language looks mostly unchanged in a glimpse, although there are a lot of words to make it through. The bill is known as second reading around 6 p.m. local time and proceeded directly to third.
By there, it is evident that House lawmakers have reached a agreement to pass a number of large bills — including this one — before the end of the evening. 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 job.
The House votes 87-27 in favor of passing, sending the bill back into the room of origin for concurrence. The Senate matches Sunday at 3 p.m.
Friday: Last gasp for IL sports betting prospects
Friday was frantic at the state capitol, using a myriad of important issues to hammer out on the last day of the scheduled session. Lawmakers did create a dent in the pile of invoices, but leaders had been forced to issue a bad-news bulletin stretching the work week during Sunday.
Although sports betting remains stagnant, a substantial effort has surfaced.
Rep. Robert Rita captured the reins on Friday, borrowing in the frame of Rep. Mike Zalewski to cobble together a compromise bill. His effort ran out of daylight on the House floor, but the bonus weekend of lawmaking means there is still hope for sports betting this season.
While there’s some momentum, failure to cast a vote on Friday makes the job a little bit taller. Any bills considered from here on out demand a 3/5ths supermajority to pass, a threshold that could simply be out of reach.
Here’s a chronological timeline of the day’s events:
A new vehicle for IL sports gambling Lawmakers start the day behind closed doors, working to finalize the framework for IL sports gambling. Most assume S 516 will serve as the car, a Chicago casino bill that seems to be an appropriate target for the enabling language. A midday curveball, however, shifts the focus.
Joe Ostrowski is a Chicago radio anchor who’s had his ear to the ground this week, and he’s the first to reveal that everybody is looking in the wrong place.
Some optimism in Springfield for sport betting.
SB 690 should shed very soon.
7:22 PM – May 31, 2019
Twitter Ads info and privacy Watch Joe Ostrowski’s other Tweets
The invoice he references (S 690) is not a gaming bill, but a measure amending tax provisions at the Invest in Kids Act. The current version has cleared the Senate and awaits a floor vote at the lower chamber. Suddenly, some anticipate House lawmakers to submit a new amendment related to sports gambling.
Sure enough, a placeholder pops up on the docket, with a hearing in the House Executive committee scheduled for 1:30 p.m. local time. A change of sponsor to Sen. Terry Link provides another sign that something is going to happen.
LSR sources suggest that there is good reason to track the dialogue all the way up until the past gavel.
Senate Appropriations committee hearing
Sen. Link presents the amended bill to the committee, and… boy, is there a lot in it.
In addition to the gambling provisions, it also touches on taxes for smokes, parking, video lottery terminals, and numerous different mechanisms to boost state revenue. The overall fiscal impact is near $1 billion, together with sports gambling representing only a very small component of the package.
It is the fastest of hearings, over in under five minutes. One member inquires whether or not the bill increases the amount of slot machines for each casino licensee — it will — and that is 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 gambling recently stepped back from the spotlight, Rita’s bill still lists him as the primary House sponsor. The committee replacements Zalewski in as a temporary member to cast a vote in favor of passage.
Without much lead time, the change attracts 34 proponents and nine opponents (which later grows to 18). Casino groups including Boyd Gaming, Penn National Gaming, and also the Illinois Casino Association remain opposed to this final language.
Members of the committee have plenty of questions, but the bulk of the discussion centers around gambling provisions not related to sports gambling. Rita struggles to describe some of the finer points in detail, especially as they relate to DraftKings and FanDuel. It’s complex.
The language enables online platforms, but online-only firms can’t seek licensure for the initial 18 weeks of IL sports betting. The host suggests he constructed his bill this way to”provide Illinois businesses a ramp” to the new sector. Rita also notes that his amendment will not affect the present status quo for DFS.
The committee advocates adoption of this amendment by an 8-5 vote, advancing the bill to the floor. There is still a lot of work left to do before adjournment, both on sports betting and on a number of pivotal issues — such as the state budget.
Formerly, in Illinois sports gambling…
This year’s effort to legalize sports gambling follows in the footsteps of this failed 2018 effort.
As it did this past year, work began early in 2019. Lawmakers cobbled together many different possible frameworks, each catering to a specific group of stakeholders. Once more, though, nothing widely palatable had emerged as the past few hours of session ticked off the clock.
The proposed budget from Gov. J.B. Pritzker includes $217 million in earnings from sports gambling, so there’s more at stake than just the liberty to bet. Failure would induce Illinois to watch 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 passage right now.
To make a long story short, some casino groups are working to keep DraftKings Sportsbook and FanDuel Sportsbook out of the Illinois market. They argue that daily fantasy sports is not explicitly legal in the country, and these so-called awful actors ought to be excluded from licensure for three decades. The real motivation is, of course, that a desire to eliminate competition from the two companies running away together with the New Jersey sports gambling market.
DraftKings responded by temporarily running a television campaign pushing back on the barrier from Rush Street Gaming.
How much does it cost?
The sport leagues also have gained greater leverage with Illinois lawmakers than they have elsewhere in the country.
Most previous proposals for IL sports gambling required payment of a ethics fee and using official league data to settle”Tier 2″ wagers. No US sports betting legislation includes a ethics fee, and Tennessee is the only one that has a data mandate.
Coupled with licensing fees payable out at $25 million and taxes amounting to 20% of earnings, these operational burdens can stand between the bill and the end line.
Who’s in charge?
Rep. Mike Zalewski carried the baton all spring, however, a lack of progress and a perceived conflict of interest forced him to step aside in the 11th hour.
Start-of-day intel suggests that Rep. Bob Rita is actively working to stuff the enabling language in the wider gambling package before lawmakers head home for the year. In what might be regarded as a reassuring sign, Senate Republican Leader Sen. Dave Syverson has signed as a co-sponsor.
There is no warranty that bill moves, though, and perhaps it doesn’t include sports betting provisions even if it does.
Matt Kredell contributed to this story.
Illinois is 1 step away from sports gambling after a last-ditch effort from Rep. Bob Rita fell into place this weekend.