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Illinois Sports Gambling Update: Super Bowl Success, Changes Coming?

Super Bowl

Illinois sports gambling is entering another exciting chapter of its already-successful origin. Bettors in the Land of Lincoln wagered nearly $61 million on last weekend’s Super Bowl, state regulators announced Tuesday. This is an increase of 33% from last year’s title game, which was the first during legal betting operations.

The Illinois Gaming Board revealed that sportsbooks profited $9.5 million, and the state received $1.4 million in tax revenue. Both of these marks are state records and point to the importance of expanding the betting reach.

Online Illinois Sports Gambling Dominates the Super Bowl

An (unspecified) majority of the bets on Super Bowl LVI were taken from online Illinois sportsbooks. DraftKings led the way at $21.5 million, while FanDuel was close behind at $17 million.

$45.6 million were wagered on Super Bowl Sunday alone, creating $1.1 million in state funding. More than $7 billion have been gambled in Illinois since Chicago Blackhawks announcer Eddie Olczyk made the state’s first legal bet at Rivers Casino in Des Plaines.

The resounding success of Super Bowl betting will only push the state further into the future. A number of changes are already being lined up as Illinois competes with other states for the next breakthrough.

Impact of Illinois Sports Gambling

Sportsbooks could soon open at venues like Wrigley Field and the United Center, pending state approval. However, not all are excited about this potential increase in exposure and access.

Calls to gambling addiction hotlines increased by nearly 200% in the year after Governor J.B. Pritzker signed a bill legalizing gambling. Funding for counseling services was created under the same legislation.

Illinois Lawmakers Gearing Up

Illinois lawmakers are currently in the process of attempting to update the existing Sports Wagering Act. 

Two House Bills presented in late January will help Illinois adapt to the landscape and future of sports betting.

House Bill 5376

The goal of House Bill 5376 is to change sports betting revenue funding not only in Illinois, but across the country. This Bill focuses primarily on changing the tax revenue funding for Illinois Division-I Colleges.

Specifically, the Bill wants to create funding for mental health services for college athletes, sports betting-related events, compliance services, and further communication between state colleges and the Illinois Gaming Board.

Illinois has three major colleges in the University of Illinois, Northwestern University, and DePaul University; all three would benefit tremendously from the fine details in the new bill.

Senate Bill 3872

This Bill revolves around the creation of a sports betting exchange program. It has already passed an initial reading stage and is awaiting further review from a committee.

Sports betting exchanges are not the same as traditional sportsbooks; instead, exchanges match bettors predicting one particular outcome with those betting the other side. The exchange receives a portion of the profits from that.

The required licensing would be exclusive to betting exchanges.

Passing the Bills would show a commitment to growing Illinois sports gambling and advancing the field. Sports betting is the fastest-growing entertainment sector and needs all of the attention it can get.

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