SPRINGFIELD – A state Senate committee re-launched a gambling bill on Wednesday that would allow limited betting on the state’s college sports teams, sending it to the Senate for consideration.
A similar measure was passed by the House on the last day of the May legislative session, but the Senate did not put it to a vote at the time.
The Senate Executive Committee’s unanimous approval came just a day before the General Assembly’s scheduled adjournment for the year, and it was not clear whether it would receive a vote in both chambers.
Senator Bill Cunningham, a Chicago Democrat and sponsor of the bill, told the committee on Wednesday that he was working with members of the House “to reach some level of agreement” on the bill.
If Senate Amendment 2 to Bill 3136 is passed by both the House and the Senate, it will become law when signed by the Governor. On that date, a licensed sports betting company would be legally allowed to bet on an Illinois varsity team, provided the bet was made at a betting center rather than online.
Only “level 1” bets would be accepted on state teams, meaning that they are “determined solely by the final score or result” of a sporting event, and must have been deposited before the start of the match. No wagering would be permitted on an individual’s performance in a game in the State.
For now, collegiate betting in the state would be a pilot program slated for repeal on July 1, 2023, unless the General Assembly extends it.
The bill also adds fire protection districts to the list of entities eligible to receive a charity raffle license, and WinTrust Arena, where WNBA champion Chicago Sky plays their home games, would be eligible to apply for a betting license. sportsmen, just like the state’s other professional sports facilities.
The bill caps the annual fees that non-autonomous municipalities can charge on video game terminals at $ 250, down from $ 25.
The bill would prohibit municipalities from taxing video game machines or betting on the machines, an action commonly known as a “push tax.”
The bill allows municipalities that had adopted such a tax as of November 1 to continue to charge it, but they would be prohibited from increasing or extending it, according to the legislation.
When the bill was considered in May, fewer than five municipalities had collected such a tax, but since that date, “somewhere in the neighborhood of 10 municipalities” have enacted push taxes, Cunningham said.
“It should be noted that there is currently an ongoing litigation on this issue. And it’s not clear whether or not the courts will allow these municipalities to impose this tax, ”Cunningham said.
Cunningham said the bill would also allow online registration of gambling applications from March 5, 2022. The original gambling legalization bill required accounts to be created in a gambling establishment, although the requirement was temporarily suspended during the pandemic.
“There were concerns that the date of authorization for this online registration was nebulous in the current law and could postpone the online registration until spring and summer,” Cunningham said. “It would potentially cost the state millions of dollars in revenue.”
The bill also allows fraternal organizations, such as the VFW Posts and the American Legions, to apply for slot machine licenses, even if the municipality in which they reside locally bans them. However, these provisions would not apply to such facilities in Chicago and Cook County.
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