Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker signs bill allowing in-state collegiate sports betting
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Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker Signs Bill Permitting In-Sate Collegiate Sports Betting
In-state collegiate sports wagering will officially become legal in Illinois after Gov. JB Pritzker signed HB 3136. The signature came around six weeks after the bill arrived at his office after passing through the Senate (44-12) and the House (100-11) without any trouble. The bill will become effective just before the March Madness tournament kicks off. Consequently, Illinois bettors can place wagers on in-state collegiate teams such as Northwestern, Loyola Chicago, the University of Illinois, Illinois University, DePaul, Northern Illinois University, and more.
In-Person Registration to be Removed
It took approximately eight months for the Prairie State to realize there was no need for requiring in-person registration for its sportsbooks, whose activity is almost entirely mobile. When sports betting was legalized in Illinois in March 2020, mobile sports wagering followed suit three months later. However, the in-person requirement was temporarily halted due to COVID until this past April.
Since April, Illinois has established itself as a top-three sports betting market nationwide, outperforming Pennsylvania sports betting for nine straight months to remain on a pedestal with New Jersey and Nevada. In September, the state accepted $596 million in bets, second only to this past March’s $633 million handle. Illinois then set a record with $840 million wagered in October, a figure which has the state looking towards $1 billion before the end of the football season.
Looking ahead to March, in-state collegiate wagering during the March Madness tournament could be the boost needed to set new sports betting records in the state.
Some Restrictions on In-State Betting
The ability to bet on college teams in Illinois will come with some caveats. These include wagers that can only be placed on the outcomes of games, meaning no props will be available on individual player stat lines.
Additionally, in-state collegiate wagers will be required to be made in person at retail sportsbooks, and the law will only be in place for a two-year probation period. After those two years, lawmakers will revisit if the change has been positive, and if so, will approve another bill to make the changes permanent.
According to State Rep. Mike Zalewski, the amendments under the new law “strike the right balance” between a modern sports wagering industry and player safety.”
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