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What's Happening with Illinois Sports Betting?

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What's Happening with Illinois Sports Betting?

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One problem with legalizing sports betting is the stigma against gambling. Overcoming this hurdle is a crucial step in legalizing sports gambling at the state level, which many states are pursuing in light of a recent Supreme Court decision.

Expansion of Legalized Gambling

The U.S. Supreme Court made it relatively clear: legalized sports betting is okay. States would simply have to pursue the correct licenses and then rule in favor of supporting everything from the casino to the horse race track. And it should be an easy sell—after all, legalized sports betting is already a hefty revenue channel. The governor of Illinois is expecting more than $200 million in sports betting revenue.

Which parts of Illinois have been looking for expansions in sports betting?

  • Waukegan
  • Rockford
  • South Suburbs
  • Central & Southern Illinois
  • Chicago

Expect new casinos galore: even horse tracks that are currently in operation want slot machines and table games, bolstering revenue for those not wanting to bet their money on an animal. Chances are pretty good you might even see some legalized video gambling at bars and restaurants. Chicago has been seeking a license for a city-owned casino for almost 20 years, but bills have been vetoed twice. With what the U.S. Supreme Court has done recently, though, the Windy City might soon see some slot machines.

Many Chicagoans end up going to Indiana or even Wisconsin just to gamble: so why not keep them in state? Both of those other states feature casinos. However, although Chicago does have its share of horse tracks, the trick is finding the balance and not bending to the idea that slot machines or blackjack tables can belong at horse tracks as that’s in direct competition with the horse racing industry as a whole.

Why Track and Horse Owners Actually Want More Legalized Gambling Implemented

They’ve reported seeing it as a benefit. With the new revenue bolstering interest in consumers wanting to show up and not only bet on a horse, but a table, makes a lot of business sense. This keeps tracks open and owners in state for venues that would make it that much more like the Kentucky Derby.

What do you think? Do you want new casinos built in Illinois? Or do you want more “casinos” built at horse race tracks? Or…do you want both?

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