ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR)-- Sports books will soon be coming to Illinois, and the outcomes of sporting events could change the outcome of some lives.
"This has been an illegal market going on for such a long time, this is a way to tap into that market,” Illinois State Senator Steve Stadelman said. more money for the state and at the same time regulate it and make it safer for people who do like to bet on sports.”
In June of last year Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker signed the bill, legalizing sports betting in the state. About eight months later, we’re inching toward the finish line.
"By the time March Madness comes around and the NCAA tournament that's a heavy time that people like to bet on sports,” Stadelman said. “I think the state still hopes to have an operation in place by that time to take advantage in the increased interest in betting on sports."
The bets placed will generate a new revenue stream for the state, but there are some drawbacks to letting people put money on their favorite teams.
"I have been a chief co sponsor of the expansion of gaming bill, I voted no on it this time because of the 21 new or increased taxes," State Representative John Cabello said.
Three casinos in Illinois have temporary sports betting operation permits, once the books open people must go into the casinos to register.
"Right now we are focused on our casino application before the Illinois Gaming Board, which doesn't include sports betting. We will await direction from the Gaming Board about how sports betting licenses will be applied for and awarded, and in the meantime remain focused on securing approval of the casino so we can get to work creating jobs and opportunity in Rockford,” A Hard Rock Casino statement said.
The current law is requiring popular sports betting applications like DraftKings and FanDuel to wait 18 months to get in on Illinois sports gambling. They will have to apply for a 20-million dollar online license to accept and pay out bets.