Illinois Sports Betting Still Under Debate
August 14, 2019
Illinois seemed primed to become the latest US state to approve online sports betting in 2019. The approval of online gambling platforms is only a small part of a massive gambling initiative in Illinois that will expand both online and offline betting opportunities for residents.
Indiana and Iowa are other areas in the Midwestern United States that have already moved forward with sports betting measures in time for the upcoming NFL season. Illinois was on track to join them until lawmakers brought the passage of a sports betting bill to a halt.
The issue seems to be the development and integration of rules for sports betting in Illinois. The Illinois Gaming Board has been tasked with developing these rules and overseeing sports betting development. The board has not provided a timetable for completing its work, and legalization of online sports betting in Illinois is on hold until the rules are defined.
There is a meeting of the Gaming Control Board scheduled for September 5, 2019. The board is expected to provide more details at that time. What many fear is that this meeting date rules out Illinois sports betting in time for football season. Many sports bettors like to watch and wager on the NFL at online sportsbooks. Moving forward with legalization could potentially bring much-needed revenue to Illinois.
As with other states that have made sports betting legal, online operators will also be required to maintain an attachment to a physical casino or betting facility in the state. For many years it has been popular in Illinois to bet on horse racing, but this has been the only form of sports betting allowed. The new law would allow Illinois residents to bet on football, basketball, baseball, and more from a computer or mobile device.
Many bettors prefer online sports betting because it is more convenient than going out to a physical racebook. The bettor can bet sports from the comfort of home with a mobile phone or tablet. Online sportsbooks also offer nice bonuses to new players such as free bets.
For the moment all Illinois residents can do is hold their breath and wait for lawmakers to move forward. There is still hope to see the first online sports betting platforms in Illinois sometime in 2019.