Illinois is one step away from legal sports gambling after a last-ditch effort from Rep. Bob Rita dropped into place that weekend.
House lawmakers voted to approve a broad expansion of gambling 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 online sports gambling.
The bill goes to the desk of Gov. J.B. Pritzker, whose recent comments make it clear he will sign it into law. The governor helped shepherd IL sports betting across the end line, seeking to drive over $200 million in additional revenue to his state.
Passage was, honestly, a remarkable accomplishment taking into consideration the absence of progress through the first five months of the year. Previous hints from Rep. Mike Zalewski were all turned aside, and a perceived conflict of interest forced him to step back in 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’s the play-by-play:
Is Sunday the afternoon for Illinois sports betting?
The Senate finally takes the floor after 4 p.m. local time. It does not take long.
Sen. Terry Link presents the terms of this amended bill, which includes a complete projected fiscal effect 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 largely surface-level, using a couple lawmakers lugging around in narrow provisions that affect their constituents. Sen. John Curran is the only person who talks to sports gambling at any given length, looking for clarification on the branding provisions for internet platforms.
Link is psychological as he closes the event, reflecting on his 20-year effort to improve economic development from manufacturing.
The chamber 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 led to the governor.
IL sports gambling bill as amended
Here is the Complete text of the language:
What’s in the change?
The new vertical funding bill includes a multi-level gaming package headlined by a mega-casino in Chicago. The step also offers six categories of licensure for IL sports betting:
Master sports wagering
Management services supplier Tier 2 official league info provider Central system provider In plain terms, these categories allow casinos, race tracks, and sports venues to provide sports gambling — equally in-person and on the internet. The terms that concern online betting, however, require in-person enrollment for the first 18 months.
The amendment also authorizes a lottery execution encompassing 2,500 locations in the very first year.
IL sports betting details
The commission for a master sports betting license is calculated based on gross gaming revenue from the previous year. Casinos will cover 5 percent of that number to provide sports gambling for four decades up to a max of $10 million. That cap was not current in recent models and should ease the burden on large operators like Rush Street Gaming. Rita also softened the proposed tax rate down to 15% of revenue.
As you can infer from the classes, language mandating using official league info for props and in-play betting stuck. While there is absolutely no ethics fee, the bill does empower schools and sports leagues to limit the types of available wagers. As composed, weatherproof collegiate sports are completely off the plank in Illinois.
The change removes the overall blackout period for internet betting that snuck to a previous version, but it does retain a modified penalty box for DraftKings and FanDuel. Daily fantasy sports companies will be permitted to compete in the sports gambling arena, but only master licensees can provide online wagering for the first 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 gambling About three hours into the weekend semester, we’re 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 the time being, however, there’s nothing new to report online sports gambling.
Aside from the things we are already touched , a few other hurdles have cropped up.
Perhaps most importantly, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot publicly opposes the bill as written. Her main concern is the provision allowing sportsbooks inside of stadiums and arenas.
Mayoral opposition leads to’comprehension’
Here is the announcement from Mayor Lightfoot, as reported by Capitol Fax:
“I firmly support a gambling bill that sends a brand new casino and dollars to the town of Chicago. However, I oppose the addition of a provision that could open sports wagering in areas like Soldier Field. Such a proposal has the potential to undermine the viability of any Chicago-based casino via the diversion of customers and revenue from a casino. Since the impact of sports wagering in stadiums has not been completely vetted or analyzed, I can’t support the bill in its present form and urge the deletion of the stadium-betting provision”
On Saturday, however, the governor releases a follow-up announcement indicating that the conversation is still moving forward:
“I have spoken to Mayor Lightfoot about her issues with respect to sports betting, and we’ve collaboratively worked with the bill sponsors to make clear that the legislative intent will reflect that there are limitations on both the number of and places for sports betting venues. I am pleased that we’ve reached this understanding…”
Mayor Lightfoot subsequently drops her opposition via another announcement:
“After successful discussions with the Governor, we’ve agreed to permit a limited amount of gambling at sports venues subject to local oversight and control. These enhancements to the gambling proposal will permit us to maximize revenue capabilities of a brand new casino to the Town of Chicago and ensure a fantastic quality of life to our areas that might otherwise be affected. Therefore, I recommend the passage of SB 690 as amended…”
Illinois House votes yes on sports betting After 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 glance, although there are a great deal of words to get through. The bill is called for second reading about 6 p.m. local time and proceeded directly to third.
By there, it’s apparent that House lawmakers have reached an agreement to pass quite a few big bills — including this one — before the end of the evening. The ground presentation becomes something of a victory lap for Rita, with different associates commending him for his wide efforts to shore up vertical infrastructure. In his closing, Rita thanks Rep. Mike Zalewski because of his job.
The House votes 87-27 in favor of passage, sending the bill back to the room of origin for concurrence. The Senate matches Sunday in 3 p.m.
Friday: Last gasp for IL sports betting prospects
Friday was frantic in the state capitol, using a myriad of important issues to hammer on the last day of the scheduled session. Lawmakers did create a dent in the pile of invoices, but leaders were forced to issue a bad-news bulletin stretching the work week during Sunday.
Although sports betting remains stagnant, a substantial effort has materialized.
Rep. Robert Rita captured the reins on Friday, borrowing from the framework of Rep. Mike Zalewski to cobble together a compromise bill. His campaign ran from daylight on the House floor, but the bonus weekend of lawmaking means there’s still hope for sports gambling this year.
Even though there is some momentum, failure to cast a vote Friday makes the job just a little bit taller. Any invoices considered from here on out require a 3/5ths supermajority to pass, a threshold that could just be out of reach.
Here’s a chronological timeline of this day’s events:
A new automobile for IL sports gambling Lawmakers begin the day behind closed doors, working to finalize the framework for IL sports betting. Most presume S 516 will function as the car, a Chicago casino bill that seems to be a suitable 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 nowadays, and he’s the first to reveal that everyone is looking in the incorrect location.
Some optimism in Springfield for sports betting.
SB 690 should drop very soon.
7:22 PM – May 31, 2019
Twitter Ads info and solitude See Joe Ostrowski’s additional Tweets
The invoice he references (S 690) is not a gambling bill, but a measure amending tax provisions in the Invest in Kids Act. The current version has cleared the Senate and awaits a floor vote in the lower room. Unexpectedly, some expect House lawmakers to submit a new amendment linked to sports gambling.
Sure enough, a placeholder pops upon 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 indication that something is about to take place.
LSR sources suggest that there is excellent reason to monitor the dialogue 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 a number of different mechanisms to increase state revenue. The total fiscal impact is close to $1 billion, together with sports gambling representing just a tiny part of the bundle.
It is the quickest of hearings, over in under five minutes. One member inquires whether or not the bill raises the number 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 betting recently stepped back from the spotlight, Rita’s bill lists him as the first House sponsor. The committee substitutes Zalewski in as a temporary member to cast a vote in favour of passing.
Without much lead time, the amendment 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 in relation to the final language.
Members of the committee have loads of questions, but the majority of the conversation centers about gaming provisions not related to sports betting. Rita struggles to describe some of the finer points in detail, particularly as they relate to DraftKings and FanDuel. It is complex.
The language allows online platforms, but online-only companies can’t find licensure for the initial 18 months of IL sports gambling. The sponsor suggests he constructed his bill this way to”provide Illinois companies a ramp” to the new industry. Rita also notes that his change won’t affect the existing status quo for DFS.
The committee recommends adoption of this amendment by an 8-5 vote, advancing the bill to the ground. There is still a great deal of work left to do prior to adjournment, both on sports betting and on a number of pivotal issues — such as the state funding.
Previously, in Illinois sports gambling…
This year’s effort to legalize sports gambling follows in the footsteps of the failed 2018 effort.
As it did last year, work started 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 funding from Gov. J.B. Pritzker includes $217 million in revenue from sports gambling, so there’s more at stake than just the freedom to bet. Failure would force Illinois to observe from the sidelines while its neighbors in Indiana and Iowa activate their new laws.
Who will participate?
The concept of this”penalty box” is the biggest barrier to some passing right now.
To make a long story short, some casino collections are working to maintain DraftKings Sportsbook and FanDuel Sportsbook out of the Illinois marketplace. They assert that daily fantasy sports isn’t explicitly lawful in the state, and these so-called bad actors ought to be deducted from licensure for 3 years. The actual motivation is, clearly, a desire to get rid of competition from the two businesses working away together with all the New Jersey sports betting market.
DraftKings responded by temporarily running a television campaign pushing back to the barrier from Rush Street Gambling.
How much does it cost?
The sports leagues have also gained greater leverage with Illinois lawmakers than they have elsewhere in the nation.
Most previous tips for IL sports gambling required payment of an integrity fee and the use of official league data to settle”Tier 2″ wagers. No US sports gambling law includes a ethics fee, and Tennessee is the only one with a data mandate.
Coupled with licensing fees topping out at $25 million and taxes amounting to 20 percent of earnings, these operational burdens may stand between the bill and the finish line.
Who’s in charge?
Rep. Mike Zalewski carried the baton all spring, but a lack of progress and also 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 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 moves, though, and perhaps it doesn’t contain sports gambling provisions even if it really does.
Matt Kredell contributed to the story.
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