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Source:sites edit:casino time:2018-03-18

Stadelman's bill predicts Illinoisans would bet at least $7 billion per year on sports, based on a projection of $175 billion in annual legal revenue nationwide. He said his bill, which refers to consumer protections for sports gamblers, is a general "placeholder" designed to launch discussion.

Officials at Rivers Casino in Des Plaines and Grand Victoria Casino in Elgin did not respond to messages seeking comment on sports betting. Arlington International Racecourse General Manager Tony Petrillo said the track would want a casino to go with sports betting.

Bedell's organization is encouraging people to contact state legislators and ask them to oppose sports gambling in Illinois. She's concerned about young men being vulnerable to legal sports wagering online 24 hours a day -- her organization has said 66 percent of fantasy sports players are male -- along with the potential for underage gamblers using accounts established for someone 21 or older. "Gambling interests overstate how much money the state will get and they never consider the costs," Bedell said.

"If we are treated equally with the casinos and we have slots and table games," Petrillo said, "and then we have sports betting, that's a venture that would be very plausible for this property."

Illinois House Deputy Majority Leader Lou Lang, a Democrat from Skokie, is among the state lawmakers who've filed bills this year addressing legal sports betting. -

"Some of the bigger issues and questions that we'll have to discuss is, obviously, the tax rate," Stadelman said. "What venues would be allowed to have sports betting? For example, casinos, racetracks? Would it be offered online? Would it be offered in a retail environment?"

Filed by then New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, the suit challenges the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act. Justices heard arguments in December and are expected to rule by June.

States see billions of dollars in potential revenue from sports betting.

"I don't want to be debating a year or two down the road while something's being allowed in other states," Stadelman said. "I don't think that's to our advantage in Illinois.

Nothing can happen, however, unless the Supreme Court issues an opinion in the case Christie v. National Collegiate Athletic Association striking down a 1992 federal law preventing states other than Nevada from authorizing single-game wagering on professional and college games.

Opponents also plan to have input on the issue. Among them is Anita Bedell, executive director of the Springfield-based Illinois Church Action on Alcohol and Addiction Problems.

A final sports betting bill would need to be balanced and avoid helping specific casinos, horse racing tracks or other businesses, Lang said. He envisions many hours of negotiations over locations, possible operators and the regulatory scheme, similar to what happened with the unsuccessful gambling expansion effort.

  Arlington International Racecourse in Arlington Heights could host legal sports betting if also granted a casino, General Manager Tony Petrillo says. But first, the U.S. Supreme Court would have to overturn a federal law banning most sports wagering outside of Nevada. - John Starks | Staff Photographer, 2017


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