State lawmakers ask: Should sports gambling be a sure bet for Illinois?
The Illinois House Gaming & Sales and Other Taxes Subcommittees held a joint hearing on Oct. 17 to continue the discussion on whether Illinois should legalize sports betting and online gambling.
Several panels spoke at the committee hearing, which lasted more than four hours.
Rep. David Harris (R-Arlington Heights) congratulated one of the panels.
"You've really laid out a number of issues that show you've investigated this issue thoroughly," Harris said. "I applaud your expertise."
Harris asked panel members several questions, including whether or not there is a standard that is levied for what you bet and what the house keeps in states like Nevada and if there is a standard level of taxation in Nevada.
Harris also encouraged written testimony to be summarized because there were so many providing testimony during the hearing.
"At casinos in Las Vegas, they bet on a platform on their phones," Harris said. "Are those platforms individual to casinos or is there some sort of statewide platform that is regulated by the state?"
A panel member pointed out that while most casinos have their own app, the apps are approved by the Nevada Gaming Commission.
Harris also asked how online accounts would be credited on the mobile apps, confirming that if patrons bet online that they would receive their winnings credited to their accounts. He also asked how other states handle issues when it comes to sports betting.
The National Football League (NFL) provided written testimony for the hearing, stating that there is no greater priority for the NFL than protecting the integrity of the sport.
"Fans, players and coaches deserve to know that we are doing everything possible to ensure no improper influences affect how the game is played on the field," the testimony states.
The NFL asked that four core standards be considered in any future legislation, including a legal, regulated sports betting environment; fan access to official and reliable data; protection of NFL content and intellectual property; and adequate resources to monitor and enforce tools necessary for law enforcement.
This is the second hearing that has taken place regarding sports betting, fantasy sports and internet gaming. Rep. Robert Rita (D-Blue Island) lead the session. The subcommittees listened to panel members from fantasy sports, online gaming, casinos and technology companies. There were also several professional sports league representatives and other opponents to legislation involving sports betting testifying at the hearing.