Illinois and Colorado Take the Next Steps to Launch Sports Betting

Interior of sports book gambling


The legalization of sports betting in the US is becoming widespread ever since the Supreme Court has stricken down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 in May 2018. States like New Jersey, New York, Delaware, and West Virginia now allow and have launched sports betting within their borders.

There are still more states that are waiting to launch and legalize sports betting as of today and recently, Illinois and Colorado are finally taking more steps towards it.

Illinois has just legalized sports betting last June but hasn’t launched it yet. The state is basically taking its time to launch this in its territory. In September, Illinois went under a comment period wherein they allowed the residents to give feedback about sports betting in Illinois.

Many expressed their frustration about the state taking their time to launch sports betting. The feedback the state got was fairly mixed. Some expressed their excitement while others also expressed their hesitations regarding this.

This comment period was manly to get the pulse from the residents of Illinois. This might even have helped the state move forward as, during the meeting of the Illinois Gaming Board last November 7 in Chicago, administrator Marcus Fruchter has finally said that casinos and bookies can now start to apply for a license to operate.

“We expect to begin releasing applications for sports wagering and rules governing those applications in advance of the December board meeting. We are moving forward with sports wagering work. We are making some progress there and we expect to be able to share something with everyone in December barring some unforeseen circumstances,” Fruchter said with the first minute of the said meeting.

The application can finally start by next month, December. This is just good for the state as the longer they take to make a move on this, the more revenues they are losing to neighboring states that already offer sports betting services to their residents.

The thing is that Illinois residents can still place their bets on offshore casinos and bookies. This is while waiting for sports betting to finally launch in Illinois locally. Once sports betting is launched in Illinois, there will be an 18-moth ban for big bookies like DraftKings and Fan Duel to operate. 

This is to make sure the local casinos like Rivers Casino can catch up with the revenues before the big names come in. With how things are looking up in Illinois regarding sports betting, everyone can expect sports betting to be launched by early next year.

Colorado is another state that recently decided on legalizing sports betting. This is after its people gave their votes towards it earlier this month. Now, Colorado is the 19th state that now sees sports betting as legal.

The yes vote got a total of 23,000 submissions. The difference is quite close as the no votes ended at a total of 49.2 percent and the yes votes with 50.8 percent. The final votes even took a while to finish tallying because of the close results.

The state will be charging 10 percent of flat tax on sports betting proceeds. The revenues from sports betting will go to the Colorado Water Conservation Board that will then use the money to meet the state’s water plan.

It is estimated that sports betting can bring in around 11 million US dollars of revenue to Colorado and this could greatly help the state’s water plan. 

Included in the bill passed in Colorado is the legislation of online wagering. This makes Colorado a step ahead of other states that have already legalized sports wagering. States like New York still do not allow online bookies to operate locally.

Representative Alec Garnett has always been there to push for this to happen in Colorado for a long time. He sees this as a great success story and also said that having the bill to go through the public voting process is quite an exercise of bipartisanship and stakeholder relationships.

Colorado is expected to launch sports betting in the state by May of next year. The state will still need to finalize its legislation and talk about licensing local operators.

Meanwhile, more and more states are taking their turns when it comes to deciding on allowing sports wagering within its borders. Bills regarding this are already introduced to states like Massachusetts, Vermont, and Maryland. However, states like Idaho, Wyoming, Utah, Wisconsin, Nebraska, and Florida are still unmoved regarding this.


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