Illinois set to join American sports betting revolution after bill passes house vote

Imagine walking into Wrigley Field soon, and being able to bet whether or not Joe Maddon's club will win the next inning right at a window on the concourse.

Or maybe its at Soldier Field, with the Chicago Bears tied at half time against the Denver Broncos, and you think that the Bears will go on and win the contest by two touchdowns.

Very soon, these two scenarios, along with any other ones you can think of, will be in play all across Illinois.

The residents of Illinois will join an ever-growing list of states that can legally bet on sports, after the Illinois house passed Senate Bill 690 (SB 690) Saturday, with the senate vote flying through 46-10, to legalize sports betting at venues across the state. Illinois is the 13th state to pass legislation, along with the District of Columbia.

With the two legislative branches passing the bill, the final step is for Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker to sign the bill into law. That is expected to come sometime in the very near future.

As per the legislation, any sports facility with a capacity of more than 17,000 people can have sports betting anywhere within a five-block radius, after they apply for a master sports wagering license. That license will set the facility back $10 million, and is good for four years.

“Thanks to Governor Pritzker's leadership, and the weekend overtime hours put in by the General Assembly, we are excited by the legalization of sports betting,” Richard Schwartz, President of Rush Street Interactive said about the law.

There is a catch, however. The facilities, such as the various sports stadiums and arenas, casinos, and racetracks, will get a head start of a year and a half. Those places will be able to start handling bets as soon as the bill is signed into law, while online apps and mobile betting will have to wait to get in on the action.

Once the online betting is allowed, there will only be three licenses available, at a cost of $20 million for four-years

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