Illinois to consider four options for betting legalization

Options include New Jersey model and giving a monopoly to the state lottery

An Illinois lawmaker has introduced four options for a legalized betting framework in the state, with options including New Jersey style system or a Rhode Island-style lottery monopoly.

The four options were filed as four separate amendments to Representative Michael Zalewski’s House Bill 3308 on Thursday.

Zalewski said the options were only “conversation starters,” with the state facing a tight deadline to get anything passed before the session ends in May.

“Any gaming bill is difficult to get through, and we’re probably going to need the governor’s help to pass something like this,” Zalewski told the Chicago sun-Times. “But I’m also confident my colleagues are interested in this topic and want to see the state benefit from it.”

The first option is the so-called New Jersey model, with betting allowed online and on-property, with each licensee allowed two online skins.

Licenses would cost $10m, with Zalewski suggesting this system would be the most popular among lawmakers.

He also put forward the Mississippi Model with a  limited number of skins, and the Illinois Lottery plan, which would give the lottery a monopoly on betting.

The final option is dubbed the “Professional Sports Leagues” plan, and includes the .25 percent fee on wagers for the pro leagues.

“What we have learned the last few months is there is great interest and agreement in the gaming industry to bring sports betting and its economic benefits to Illinois, and little agreement yet on how to best do it,” Zalewski said in a statement.

“By presenting these four proposals and encouraging robust discussion on everything, I believe we can work out a plan that provides responsible regulation, a safe atmosphere for adult sports fans to bet on their favorite teams and games, and meaningful economic benefits for our businesses and our tax coffers. It’s time to get to work.”

Illinois has a population of almost 13 million people.

Illinois | Regulation | Sports betting