Is Legal Sports Gambling Coming To Illinois?
A new Supreme Court ruling could have huge financial implications for the state of Illinois.
WGN - The Supreme Court cleared the way on Monday for states to legalize sports betting, striking down a 1992 federal law that had prohibited most states from authorizing sports betting.
This makes a lot of sense. I've always been confused on why some gambling is alright while others are illegal. The Lottery, horse racing, riverboat casinos, pulltabs, and slot machines are all legal in Illinois but sports wagering has always been pushed to the dark recesses of the internet. We've even seen sites like Draft Kings and Fan Duel be deemed "legal wagering" in the past 5 years. It was only a matter of time before you could bet on the Bears legally.
Some states have seen this day coming and are ready to put sports gambling into their legislature almost immediately. New Jersey reportedly will likely have a system in place for the NBA Finals, which begin in about 10 days. Other states like West Virginia and Minnesota have the beginning of the NFL season as their target.
We often talk about the legalization of marijuana being one of the answers to Illinois' budget problem. The truth is that proceeds from legal marijuana usually are only predicted to be a couple of million dollars a year. That will help, but won't really put a dent in the state's financial woes. Sports gambling, on the other hand, is being predicted to be a billion-dollar industry for early adopting states. That could actually help Illinois.
This could effectively change the way sports arenas are run. There have already been a few owners that want to basically convert their stadiums into sports books with all the "casino" extras.
I'm personally very excited about this. I've been known to wager on an event or two. Sometimes it wasn't even 100% legal. It's nice to know that there will be a state-sanctioned, legal way for me to blow 100 bucks on a meaningless regular season basketball game.
Things are going to change very fast and I couldn't be more excited.