Sports betting

Illinois puts gaming expansion back on the table with new hearings

Two separate subcommittee hearings to discuss egaming and sports betting legalization

Senators in Illinois they will hold two subcommittee hearings in the coming months aimed at introducing a gaming expansion bill which would legalize sports betting, egaming and daily fantasy sports in the state.

Representative Bob Rita, head of the Illinois house subcommittee on gaming, sales and other taxes, confirmed that two separate house committees would debate the bill on August 22 and October 3.

In a statement, Rita said the expansion of gaming “presents many tremendous opportunities to create revenue, jobs and economic growth in Illinois.”

A veteran of the push to legalise egaming expansion, Rita has tried unsuccessfully on three separate occasions, in 2014, 2016 and 2017, to get the issue of egaming legalization addressed by the Illinois senate. Each time bills have failed to get the political traction necessary to advance them into law.

However, this time the appetite for gaming expansion could be enhanced, with the state reportedly owing $16bn in unpaid bills and having the lowest credit rating in the US.

The recent sports betting successes in Delaware and New Jersey may also serve to convince the Illinois senate that the time is right to legalize sports betting and egaming, as it looks to address its financial woes.

Rita added: “The gaming landscape has changed significantly since I took on this issue five years ago, and I want to use these hearings to understand how those changes present new opportunities for us to put the right package together as we look to meet budget needs and provide a spark for our economy.”

Egaming | Illinois | Legislation | Sports betting

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