Illinois Governor signs gaming expansion bill into law

1 July 2019

Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker has signed into law the far-reaching gaming expansion bill passed by the state legislature early in June, paving the way for the roll-out of regulated sports betting. 

Senate Bill 690 was one of four bills signed by the Governor as part of the Rebuild Illinois capital plan. This aims to raise $45bn to invest in roads, bridges, railways, universities, early childhood centers and state facilities over the next six years, creating an estimated 540,000 jobs over that period.

The gaming expansion bill allows for the establishment of six new land-based casinos, including a major facility in Chicago, as well as the roll-out of slot machines at racetracks and the O’Hare and Midway airports. 

It also includes Representative Robert Rita’s Sports Wagering Act, which was attached to the wider bill in a last-minute push to shepherd sports betting legislation into law. 

This sets out a $10m license fee for master licenses for casinos and racetracks, with online licenses costing $20m and both certificates valid for four years. Sports facilities, stadia with a capacity of 17,000 or greater, will also be able to secure a licence at a cost of $10m, which also allows for mobile wagering within a 5-block radius of the venue.

Operators will pay a 15% gross revenue tax, to be deposited in the newly created Sports Wagering Fund. Money generated will be split between counties, to support the criminal justice system, and the Capital Projects Fund.

Read the full story on iGB North America.