Whitman plays role in Illinois’ sports gambling decision

Local Sports

TILTON, Ill. (WCIA) — Illinois passed a bill earlier in June that allows gambling on sports in the state. But the bill only includes professional, not collegiate sports.

Illinois athletic director Josh Whitman spent several days in Springfield to convince lawmakers not to include collegiate athletics in the sports gambling bill. Legislators obliged. However, that can’t stop betters from driving to other states to place wagers on the Illini.

Indiana and Iowa passed bills earlier this year that do allow betting on college sports.

“I’m not opposed to gambling on sports, I’m opposed to gambling on college sports,” Whitman said. “I think that gambling on college sports comes with a set of risks that doesn’t exist in other settings. You think about 18-22 year olds and how influencible they may be. You think about access to college athletes versus access to a professional athlete. I think most of the athletic directors in the state felt the same way, and I’m really grateful to our state legislature for being willing to hear our concerns.”

For our full 25+ minute conversation with Whitman, click here.

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