Illinois is 1 step away from legal sports gambling after a last-ditch effort by Rep. Bob Rita dropped into place that weekend.
House lawmakers voted to approve a wide expansion of gaming within a capital financing 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 betting.
The bill now moves to the desk of Gov. J.B. Pritzker, whose recent remarks make it clear he will sign it into law. The governor helped shepherd IL sports betting across the finish line, seeking to drive over $200 million in extra revenue to his state.
Passage was, honestly, a remarkable feat considering the lack of advancement during the first five months of the year. Previous proposals from Rep. Mike Zalewski were all turned aside, and a perceived conflict of interest forced him to step back at the last days of session.
LSR continues to be keeping a close watch on the chatter this weekend and upgrading this page as the situation unfolded. Here is the play-by-play:
Is Sunday the afternoon for Illinois sports gambling?
The Senate finally takes the ground following 4 p.m. local time. It doesn’t take long.
Sen. Terry Link presents the conditions of the amended bill, which includes a total projected fiscal effect of $12 billion. Commendations and favorable comments from Sen. Dave Syverson, the Senate Minority Leader, appear to indicate that passing is a certainty.
Comments are brief and largely surface-level, with a couple lawmakers poking around at narrow provisions which affect their components. Sen. John Curran is the only one who speaks to sports betting at any length, looking for clarification about the branding provisions for internet platforms.
Link is psychological as he closes the proceedings, representing on his 20-year effort to increase economic development from manufacturing.
The chamber applauds as the board lights up green, and also the Senate concurs with the House changes with a 46-10 vote. Just like that, the bill that will legalize sports betting in Illinois is led to the Senate.
IL sports gambling bill as amended
Here is the Complete text of the language:
What is in the amendment?
The new vertical financing bill includes a multi-level gaming package headlined by a mega-casino at Chicago. The measure also has six categories of licensure for IL sports betting:
Master sports wagering
Management services provider Tier two official league data supplier Central system supplier In plain terms, these categories make it possible for casinos, race tracks, and sports sites to provide sports betting — both in-person and on the internet. The provisions that concern online gambling, nevertheless, require in-person registration for the first 18 months.
The amendment also authorizes a lottery implementation encompassing 2,500 locations in the very first year.
IL sports betting details
The fee for a master sports gambling license is calculated based on gross gaming revenue from the last year. Casinos will pay 5 percent of that number to provide sports betting for four decades up to a max of $10 million. That cap wasn’t present in recent models and should alleviate the burden on big operators such as Rush Street Gaming. Rita also softened the proposed tax rate down to 15% of revenue.
As you can infer from the classes, language mandating the use of official league data for props and in-play betting stuck. Even though there’s no ethics fee, the bill will not enable colleges and sports leagues to restrict the kinds of available wagers. As written, in-state collegiate sports are completely off the board in Illinois.
The change removes the overall blackout period for internet 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 betting arena, but just master licensees can provide online wagering for the first 18 months.
The amendment also creates three online-only licenses costing $20 million apiece, awarded on a delay via a competitive procedure.
Saturday: Agreement reached for IL sports gambling About three hours into the weekend session, we’re still in a holding pattern. House lawmakers have ticked several more items off their to-do list today, such as a bill that raises the minimum wages for Illinois teachers. For the time being, though, there’s nothing new to report on sports gambling.
Apart from the things we’re already touched on, a few other hurdles have cropped up.
Perhaps most importantly, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot publicly opposes the bill as written. Her principal concern is the provision allowing sportsbooks inside of stadiums and arenas.
Mayoral opposition leads to’comprehension’
Here’s the announcement from Mayor Lightfoot, as mentioned by Capitol Fax:
“I firmly support a gambling bill that directs a new casino and dollars to the city of Chicago. However, I oppose the addition of a provision which could open up sports wagering in venues like Soldier Field. This type of proposal has the potential to undermine the viability of any Chicago-based casino through the diversion of consumers and revenue from a casino. Because the impact of sports wagering in stadiums hasn’t been completely vetted or examined, I can’t support the bill in its present form and advocate the deletion of the stadium-betting provision.”
On Saturday, however, the governor releases a followup announcement indicating that the dialogue is still moving forward:
“I have spoken to Mayor Lightfoot about her issues with regards to sports betting, and we have collaboratively worked with the bill sponsors to make clear that the legislative intent will reveal that there are limits on both the amount of and places for sports gambling venues. I am happy that we’ve attained this understanding…”
Mayor Lightfoot subsequently drops her resistance via a different statement:
“After productive talks with the Governor, we have agreed to allow a limited amount of betting at sports areas subject to local control and oversight. These improvements to the gaming proposition will allow us to maximize revenue capabilities of a new casino for the Town of Chicago and guarantee a good quality of life for our areas that might otherwise be affected. As such, I recommend the passing of SB 690 as amended…”
Illinois House votes yes on sports betting After 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 glimpse, although there are a great deal of words to make it through. The bill is called for second reading around 6 p.m. local time and moved directly to third.
By that point, it is apparent that House lawmakers have reached an agreement to pass quite a few large bills — such as this one — before the end of the evening. The floor demonstration becomes something of a victory lap for Rita, with several members commending him for his broad efforts to shore up vertical infrastructure. In his closing, Rita thanks Rep. Mike Zalewski because of his work.
The House votes 87-27 in favor of passage, sending the bill back to 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 at the state capitol, with an assortment of important issues to hammer out on the final day of the scheduled session. Lawmakers did make a dent in the pile of bills, but leaders were made to issue a bad-news bulletin extending the work week through Sunday.
Although sports gambling remains unresolved, a significant effort has materialized.
Rep. Robert Rita captured the reins on Friday, borrowing from the frame of Rep. Mike Zalewski to cobble together a compromise bill. His effort ran from daylight on the House floor, however, the bonus weekend of lawmaking means there is still hope for sports gambling this year.
While there is some momentum, failure to cast a vote Friday makes the task a little bit taller. Any bills considered from here out there require a 3/5ths supermajority to passa brink which could just be out of reach.
Here’s a chronological timeline of the day’s events:
A 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 a suitable target for the empowering language. A midday curveball, however, shifts the attention.
Joe Ostrowski is a Chicago radio anchor who’s had his ear to the ground nowadays, and he is the first to reveal that everyone is looking in the wrong place.
Some optimism in Springfield for sports betting.
SB 690 should shed very soon.
7:22 PM – May 31, 2019
Twitter Ads info and solitude See Joe Ostrowski’s additional Tweets
The bill 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 cleared the Senate and awaits a floor vote in the lower chamber. Unexpectedly, some anticipate House lawmakers to submit a new amendment related to sports gambling.
Sure enough, a placeholder pops up on the docket, using a hearing in the House Executive committee scheduled for 1:30 p.m. local time. A change of sponsor to Sen. Terry Link provides an additional sign that something is about to happen.
LSR sources suggest that there’s good reason to monitor the conversation all the way up before 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 gaming provisions, it also rolls taxes for smokes, parking, video lottery terminals, and numerous other mechanisms to increase state revenue. The total fiscal impact is near $1 billion, together with sports gambling representing only a tiny part of the package.
It is the quickest of hearings, over in under five minutes. 1 member asks whether the bill raises the number 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 House hearing by several hours.
When the committee finally convenes, Rep. Mike Zalewski is a surprise addition to the dais at 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 first House sponsor. The committee substitutes Zalewski in as a temporary member to cast a vote in favour of passage.
Without much lead time, the change attracts 34 proponents and nine opponents (which grows to 18). Casino groups including Boyd Gaming, Penn National Gaming, and also the Illinois Casino Association remain opposed to this Last language.
Members of the committee have loads of questions, however, the bulk of the discussion centers around gambling terms not related to sports betting. Rita struggles to explain some of the finer points in detail, particularly as they relate to DraftKings and FanDuel. It’s complicated.
The language allows online platforms, but online-only companies can not find licensure for the initial 18 weeks of IL sports betting. The sponsor indicates he built his bill this way to”provide Illinois companies a ramp” to the new sector. Rita also notes that his change will not affect the present status quo for DFS.
The committee advocates adoption of this amendment with an 8-5 vote, advancing the bill to the floor. There is still a great deal of work left to do before adjournment, equally on sports gambling and on many of critical issues — including the state budget.
Formerly, in Illinois sports betting…
This year’s attempt to legalize sports gambling follows in the footsteps of this unsuccessful 2018 effort.
As it did this past year, work began early in 2019. Lawmakers cobbled together many different potential frameworks, each catering to a specific set of stakeholders. Once more, however, nothing widely palatable had emerged since the last few hours of session ticked off the clock.
The proposed funding from Gov. J.B. Pritzker includes $217 million in earnings from sports betting, so there is more at stake than just the liberty to wager. Failure would force Illinois to watch from the sidelines while its neighbors at Indiana and Iowa trigger their new legislation.
Who can participate?
The notion of the”penalty box” is your biggest barrier to some passage at the moment.
To make a long story short, a few casino groups are working to keep DraftKings Sportsbook and FanDuel Sportsbook from the Illinois market. They argue that daily fantasy sports isn’t explicitly lawful in the country, and these so-called awful actors should be excluded from licensure for 3 years. The actual motivation is, of course, that a desire to eliminate competition from both companies running away together with all the New Jersey sports gambling market.
DraftKings responded by temporarily running a television campaign pushing back to the barrier from Rush Street Gaming.
How much will it cost?
The sport leagues also have gained more leverage with Illinois lawmakers than they have elsewhere in the country.
Most previous tips 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 payable out at $25 million and taxation amounting to 20 percent of revenue, these operational burdens can stand between the invoice and the end line.
Who’s in charge?
Rep. Mike Zalewski carried the baton all spring, however, a lack of advancement and 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 in the wider gambling package before lawmakers head home for the year. In what could be seen as an encouraging sign, Senate Republican Leader Sen. Dave Syverson has signed on as a co-sponsor.
There is no guarantee that bill passes, though, and it may not contain sports betting provisions even if it really does.
Matt Kredell contributed to the story.
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