Illinois will allow bricks-and-mortar casinos, racetracks and sports venues an 18-month head start with sports betting in the state with mobile and online betting launching after that.
Senate Bill 690, sponsored by Indian Creek Democratic Senator Terry Link, will also allow for six new casinos to be tendered in the state including a casino in Chicago. The state already has ten casinos.
The new casinos will be built in Waukegan, Rockford, Danville, South Suburbs, Williamson County and downtown Chicago.
The Prairie State became the 13th US state to approve sports betting over the weekend and the fifth to legalise it this year. As well as casinos and racetracks, sports facilities with more than 17,000 seats, including Wrigley Field or United Center, will be allowed to offer sports betting.
Senator Link said: “This key piece of legislation really is going to make an economic difference of keeping our dollars home. It will create thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in construction across the state.”
Governor Pritzker’s signature will see Illinois join its Midwest neighbours Indiana and Iowa with legalised sports betting. Online-only licenses will be offered to just three operators at a cost of $20m each and a $1m renewal fee after four years. Illinois’ legislation will prevent betting on college sports teams and will impose a 15 per cent tax on operators.
Governor Pritzker said: “Legalised sports betting and expanding gaming will create jobs up and down the state where communities hungry for employment will see 10,000 new Jobs. Gaming expansions in this state have been attempted and failed for years. Today is a win for the whole state.”
The bill will also see race tracks allowed to install slot machines and table games, turning them into racinos.