This is a developing story and will be updated.
An amendment presented for Senate Bill 7 would load it up with provisions on all three fronts. The bill would appear to be an attempt to formally legalize and regulate all three forms of gaming.
There is not actually any authorizing language for any of the verticals. There is placeholder language for each, however, and the assumption is that language will be added at some point.
If Illinois is going to act on the legislation in the current session, time is short. The statehouse is supposed to adjourn on Thursday.
The bill is currently in the House Gaming Subcommittee, which is scheduled to have a hearing on Monday at noon local time. The amendment came from Rep. Robert Rita, who chairs the subcommittee. That makes it seem far more likely that these efforts will have some legitimate legs in the House.
The It might be more likely that we see the bill readdressed later this year rather than in a few short days. But little is known about the effort, so far, other than it exists. There is a possibility the legislature will return in June, or it may wait to return until after November elections.
The bill started life as a bill intended to create a casino within the borders of Chicago. There are no casinos within the city limits, right now. Here are the placeholders as written into the amendment:
Article 5. Fantasy Sports Contest Act
Section 5-1. Short title. This Article may be cited as the Fantasy Sports Contest Act. References in this Article to “this Act” mean this Article.
Article 10. Internet Gaming Act
Section 10-1. Short title. This Article may be cited as the Internet Gaming Act. References in this Article to “this Act” mean this Article.
Article 15. Sports Wagering Act
Section 15-1. Short title. This Article may be cited as the Sports Wagering Act. References in this Article to “this Act” mean this Article.
An outline of the bill written by Rep. Rita and obtained by Online Poker Report says this about those sections:
Leave internet gaming, fantasy sports and sports betting sections blank to be resolved later
Illinois sports betting is not legal, but the state can now legalize it after the US Supreme Court struck down the federal ban on single-game wagering last week.
And there’s this:
MLB NBA and PGA added IL lobbyists Monday. They don't show up on their registrations yet. LOTS of gambling activity going on with a week left in session, but this is SOP for the past decade. Fun times!
— Steve Brubaker (@SteveBrubaker) May 24, 2018
Illinois online gambling is not a new subject in Illinois.
The state Senate passed a bill that would have legalized online casinos games in 2017, poker and DFS last year at the 11th hour, but it did not make it through the House.
DFS is not legal in Illinois, according to the most recent attorney general opinion. In 2015, Lisa Madigan classified DFS as illegal gambling under existing state law. That hasn’t stopped DraftKings and FanDuel from serving the state, though, nor other operators.
Efforts to formally legalize DFS predate that opinion, but IL lawmakers have failed to pass anything for four years running. That includes this year, where five bills carried over without being considered to date.
Of the three new provisions included in S 7, you’d expect DFS to be the source of least controversy.