Illinois state senators are not interested in standalone sports betting law. Instead, they prefer to pass a comprehensive gambling expansion package. In fact, 25 of the 59 state senators wrote a letter to Governor J.B. Pritzker stating their suggestion.
The letter dated April 9 stated that the legislature invested a lot of time in developing a full gaming package in the last two years. In addition, they said the comprehensive gambling expansion package can generate $350 to $400 million each year.
In recent years, the Senate passed a bill that will allow six additional casinos in the state. It included one in Chicago. Also, it will allow daily fantasy sports and slot machines at state racetracks. However, news headlines revealed the bill stalled in the House.
Comprehensive Gambling Expansion Package
The governor is looking for ways to fund infrastructure in Illinois. In fact, he needs $41.5 billion to repair and build roads, schools, parks, and bridges in the state. The Senators told sportsbook software distributors that sports betting alone can’t fund the infrastructure projects.
In fact, Pritzker estimated sports betting will bring $217 million a year. However, he will not get it unless sports betting is part of a comprehensive gambling expansion package. Although the governor thinks standalone sports betting bill will pass both chambers easier, there are complex political dynamics in play that calls for a more comprehensive package. For instance, SB 516, was held over for a second reading in the Senate floor.
Representative Bob Rita said the House is ready to consider a comprehensive proposal. However, the Illinois legislative session ends Friday. There’s not much time for lawmakers to tackle the issue.
Senator Steve Stadelman told sports betting software sites that there’s already a framework for a larger plan from previous efforts. The only question remains is whether there’s a political will to push it.