Illinois Sports Betting: Still in the Prep Stages

Illinois Sports Betting

The good news for Illinois residents who have a yen to bet on sports is that eventually you’ll be able to do so. The bad news is that you can’t do it quite yet.

Illinois legalized sports betting at the end of June when Governor J. B. Pritzker signed it into law. But the new Sports Wagering Act only lays out in general terms how it will work.

It’s the job of the Illinois Gaming Board (IGB) and the Illinois Lottery to nail down the specifics, and they’re sill working on it. The IGB has the larger task in that they’re responsible for creating the rules governing all forms of Illinois sports betting with one exception that falls under the Lottery’s purview. Since the IGB has also been tasked with overseeing an expansion of video gaming and the opening of six new casinos, you can appreciate that their deliberations are likely to take a while.

Still, even though the rules are still being ironed out, we do have some information about how Illinois sports betting will work. Here’s what you can expect:

Illinois Sports Betting: What Can You Bet On?

Once legal sports betting begins, Illinois residents will be able to place bets on many sporting events, but not all of them. Minor league events, events involving an Illinois collegiate team, and K through 12 school events are all excluded. In addition, “interested parties” including pro sports teams, leagues, or associations, institutions of higher learning, sports governing bodies, and sports wagering licensees can ask the IGB to prohibit a form of gambling if they think it will undermine the integrity of a sport, is unfair to consumers, or runs contrary to public policy.

Illinois Sports Betting: Where Can You Bet?

Illinois residents will be able to place bets both in person and online at racetracks and their associated OTBs, Illinois casinos, and up to seven sports facilities. For purposes of the law, a sports facility is a facility that hosts sporting events and seats more than 17,000 spectators. Additionally, the Illinois Lottery will launch a pilot program of betting terminals located at certain Illinois Lottery retailers. The terminals will only take parlay wagers and fixed odds parlay wagers.

Illinois Sports Betting: More on Online Betting

After the initial 18 months of permitting online wagering through the racetracks, associated OTBs, etc., the IGB will license three online operators to accept such bets. The operators may well include companies like FanDuel and DraftKings.