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Limited in-state college betting bill unveiled on session’s final day

Limited in-state college betting bill unveiled on session’s final day

By JERRY NOWICKI
Capitol News Illinois
[email protected]

SPRINGFIELD – A gambling omnibus bill that would allow Illinois bettors to wager on in-state college sports teams on a two-year trial basis has been filed in the General Assembly on the final scheduled day of the legislative session.

Anybody wishing to make such a bet in Illinois, however, would need to do so in person at a sports book, rather than on an online application. A bet on an Illinois college team could only 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.

The sports betting provision would take effect immediately if the bill is passed by lawmakers and signed by the governor. The provision would run through July 1, 2023.

The bill also allows veterans organizations, such as VFW posts and American Legions, to apply for gambling machine licenses, even if the municipality in which they reside has a local ban on them. It also allows veterans facilities without liquor licenses to apply. Those provisions would not apply, however, to veterans facilities in Chicago and Cook County.

The legislation also prohibits municipalities from taxing video gambling machines or bets placed on the machines. If a municipality has already levied such a tax on video gambling as of June 1, they may continue to charge it, but they may not “Increase, expand, or extend the tax or tax rate on such persons participating in playing video gaming terminals,” according to the legislation.

The bill, House Amendment 1 to Senate Bill 521, could receive a committee hearing and pass both chambers before they adjourn at the end of Monday. Sponsored by Rep. Bob Rita, D-Blue Island, the bill contains several other technical changes to the state’s gambling industry as well.

This story will be updated.

Capitol News Illinois is a nonprofit, nonpartisan news service covering state government and distributed to more than 400 newspapers statewide. It is funded primarily by the Illinois Press Foundation and the Robert R. McCormick Foundation

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