Illinois Hears Sports Professionals on Legal Sports Betting

illinois pokerAn Illinois Senate Committee has heard testimony from top professional sports officials regarding their opinion about a legalized sports betting landscape in the state. Lawmakers were told this week by the Vice President of the NBA, Dan Spillane that the basketball league would be open to legalizing sports betting in Illinois, as long as sports leagues receive a cut of the money. The NBA said that the money would be used to protect the integrity of the competitions.

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The NBA admits that “the time has come for a different approach to give sports fans a safe and legal way to bet on sporting events,” while at the same time, the integrity of the events should be protected.

Illinois lawmakers are currently mulling a law that would allow it to legalize sports betting on individual professional, amateur and college games, as long as the federal government gives its approval. Illinois-based casinos will be allowed to take sports bets at their locations, as well as over the internet.

The state stands to benefit significantly from the tax revenue should sports betting be legalized. It is estimated that the state could net approximately $85 million in taxes each year.

On the other side of the spectrum are the opponents of the sports betting law who say that Illinois is not in need of more gambling options, since these are already available at multiple locations, including horse racing tracks, casinos, video machines located in bars and restaurants, as well as the state lottery.

The head of investigations for the Major League Baseball, Bryan Seeley, was also present at the senate committee hearing, although nobody from the NHL or NFL attended. The sports leagues want a well-regulated betting framework to facilitate internal investigations into league misconduct.

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