In-state collegiate sports betting passes House and Senate, heads to Governor’s desk

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (NEXSTAR) — In Illinois, the only sports teams — collegiate or professional — that you can’t bet on are the college teams in Illinois.

But that could all change with the Governor’s signature.

A bill that would allow betting on in-state college sports passed both the House and Senate last night. It now heads to the Governor’s desk.

The change is expected to bring even more money in for the state, which already ranks third in the country for sports betting handle. In August alone, the state brought in 400 million dollars from sports betting, and since the start of 2021 the state has brought in 4 billion dollars.

A handful of restrictions will hamper fans’ ability to place bets on their favorite college teams. If the bill is signed into law, fans can only make bets in person at a casino or racetrack that has a sports betting license. There are 12 license holders in the state.

The bill also doesn’t allow for bets on any players individual performances. Bets can only be placed on game outcomes.

The restrictions were the result of lawmakers attempting to compromise with Illinois Athletic Director Josh Whitman. Whitman opposed the measure citing safety concerns for his athletes.

“That’s why we just looked at outcome not player performance,” Rep. Robert Rita (D-Blue Island) said. “We also put it with a two year sunset so that it would end. So if there were issues, it would automatically eliminate. And then along with you have to be in a facility. So everybody’s not on mobile or in the stands or making bets.”

If the Governor signs the bill, it will go into effect immediately. There is a sunset clause, meaning if no other changes are made to the rules before July 2023.

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