Illinois Enacts Sports Gambling Law

July 10, 2019

Illinois Sports Gambling Law

At the end of June, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker signed into law a massive gaming initiative, which includes legalized sports gambling.   While the sports gambling law’s passage does not mean that wagers on sporting events can be accepted right away, it does represent a major legal change in one of the country’s most populous states.

What are some of the key components of Illinois’ sports gambling law?

The State Gaming Board is in the process of drafting sports betting regulations and will review/approve prospective applications for gaming licenses before legal sports wagers can be placed and accepted in Illinois.  In the interim, certain aspects of the State’s take on legal sports gambling can be gleaned from the recently enacted law.  These include, but are not limited to:

  • Initial licensing fees of no greater than $10 million;
  • Prohibitions against betting on Illinois State college teams;
  • An 18-month delay on licensing of online-only sports gambling operators;
  • In-person registration requirements for users who wish to make use of mobile applications operated by, or on behalf of, physical sportsbooks, racetracks and certain sport arenas;
  • Requirement that official league data be purchased for use in any in-game wagering offerings; and
  • 15% tax on operators’ sports betting revenue.

Many states that have legalized sports gambling since the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (“PASPA”) was deemed unconstitutional delegate to the applicable state gaming authority the responsibility of drafting regulations that govern the particulars of sports gambling and its operators.  Illinois is no different.  While there is no current timeline for the Illinois Gaming Board to issue rules for public notice and comment, it is reasonable to believe that the agency will act with haste given the Legislature’s allocation of anticipated sports gambling tax revenue in future state budgeting.  As such, industry observers should continue to maintain a watchful eye on pronouncements that issue from the Gaming Board in the coming months.

What does the Future Hold for Sports Gambling Law?

Illinois is the most recent illustration of a jurisdiction regulating sports gambling in a unique way.  For example, Illinois’ banning online-only operators (such as DraftKings and FanDuel) for a period of 18-months is an approach not taken by any prior jurisdiction.  This uneven regulatory climate will continue until federal legislation puts uniform rules of the road in place.  Until such time, the rapidly evolving legal landscape dictates that those interested in entering this space work closely with knowledgeable gaming lawyers to review all aspects of their prospective licensing applications and associated offerings.

If you are interested in learning more about this topic or pursuing a venture in the sports gaming industry, please e-mail us at, or call us at (212) 246-0900.

The material contained herein is provided for informational purposes only and is not legal advice, nor is it a substitute for obtaining legal advice from an attorney.  Each situation is unique, and you should not act or rely on any information contained herein without seeking the advice of an experienced attorney.

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Federal Sports Gambling Bill Expected Soon



David Klein

David Klein is one of the most recognized attorneys in the technology, Internet marketing, sweepstakes, and telecommunications fields. Skilled at counseling clients on a broad range of technology-related matters, David Klein has substantial experience in negotiating and drafting complex licensing, marketing and Internet agreements.
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