In-State College Betting Bill Has Passed in House

by Jan Frazier

Chicago (Washington Insider Magazin ) Illinois bettors can now bet on in-state college sports teams under a bill that was passed on Tuesday. It took only a few hours to introduce this gambling bill, and it will be “on a two-year trial basis.”

This gambling bill passed early Tuesday morning after being introduced the day before. People wishing to bet on college sports teams need to do so in person rather than online. 

Any bet on a college team in Illinois would be a “Tier 1 wager, meaning it is determined solely by the final score or final outcome of a sporting event, and it must have been filed before the start of the game.”

As soon as the lawmakers, as well as the governor of Illinois, sign the bill, it will immediately go into effect. The bill would go through July 1, 2023, and “it would not allow wagering on an individual athlete’s performance.”

The bill passed by a 96-11 vote in the House, and it will now go to the Senate before going to the governor. 

Representative Bob Rita, Democrat from Blue Island, said that the “bill does not limit college betting to Division 1 sports, but rather allows it for all college athletics.” Also, fraternal organizations – for example, American Legions and VFW posts – are allowed to have a gambling license, “even if the municipality in which they reside has a local ban on them.” Even fraternal organizations without a liquor license can get provisions.

The bill also puts an annual fee “that non-home rule municipalities can charge on video gaming terminals at $250, up from $25.” This bill, in addition, “prohibits municipalities from taxing video gambling machines or bets placed on the machines.” This was an action that Rita referred to as a “push tax.” 

Some of the suburbs already have a tax on video gambling which was started on June 1, 2020, and they are able to continue to charge it. However, according to the legislation, “they may not increase, expand, or extend the tax or tax rate on such persons participating in playing video gaming terminals.” Rite stated that there are suburban communities – such as Oak Lawn and Waukegan – that already have such a tax. The bill will also allow Wintrust Arena, which is the home of the Chicago Sky of the SNBA, “to become a sports betting venue.” 

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