Mobile wagering on in-state college sports teams in Illinois will continue to be prohibited, the Land of Lincoln’s legislature decided Wednesday.
With the current law prohibiting online betting sites from accepting Tier 1 legal sports betting on those Illionis teams set to expire July 1, the Senate voted to extend the current system as is until July 1, 2024.
Tier 1 sports bets on schools like the University of Illinois, Northwestern, Illinois State, and others are designated only for in-person, pre-game wagering on moneylines, spreads, and totals.
An amendment to Senate Bill 0089 to keep the current law going was introduced to the House by Rep. Bob Rita and co-sponsored by Sen. Suzy Glowiak Hilton when it reached the higher chambers. It made it through the House floor last Friday before the Senate passed it unanimously 54-0 on Wednesday. The bill heads to Gov. Pritzker’s desk for signing into law.
What could’ve been in March?
How much money Illinois lawmakers are leaving on the table in tax revenue for the state is unknown, but it likely would’ve made a more significant impact on a wildly successful month of March Madness.
Sports betting in Illinois recorded a handle of $1.07 billion in March, which ranked second among all legal sports betting U.S. states for the month, and 97% of those wagers came via online betting.
Illinois and Northwestern were both participants in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament for a state that hauled in $97.1 million in March.
According to the Illinois Gaming Board, college sports brought in over a billion dollars in wagers in 2022.
Another attempt at changing the law
Despite how easily the amendment to continue prohibiting action online moved through the Illinois legislature, there is another attempt at making those wagering options available.
Rep. Jonathan Carroll filed HB 4041 in April to remove the language that a licensed provider can’t accept an Illinois sports team wager over the Internet. It would let online sportsbooks “accept a wager for a sports event involving an Illinois collegiate team if the wager is a tier 1 wager and the wager is not related to an individual athlete's performance.”
The bill had a first reading by the Rules Committee on April 25, but there’s been no movement on it since then.