Illinois lawmakers continue to ban college online sports betting in the state May 2023

Online college sports betting ban will continue in Illinois until July 1, 2024, after Senate votes to expand current system

Last updated: May 25, 2023 6:23 p.m. ET Reading time: 4 min

Mobile betting on Illinois state college sports teams will continue to be banned, the Lincoln state legislature decided Wednesday.

With the current law prohibiting online betting sites from accepting legal Tier 1 sports bets on Illionis teams expiring on July 1, the Senate voted to extend the current system as is until July 1, 2024.

Tier 1 sports betting on schools like the University of Illinois, Northwestern, Illinois State and others are designated only for in-person pre-game betting on funding lines, variances and totals.

An amendment to Senate Bill 0089 to keep the current law in effect was introduced in the House by Rep. Bob Rita and co-sponsored by Senator Suzy Glowiak Hilton when it reached the upper houses. It crossed the floor of the House last Friday before the Senate passed it unanimously 54-0 on Wednesday. Bill heads to Governor Pritzker’s office for signing into law.

What could have been in March?

It’s unclear how much money Illinois lawmakers are leaving on the table in tax revenue for the state, but it likely would have had a bigger impact on a hugely successful March Madness month.

Sports betting in Illinois saw a handful of $1.07 billion in March, making it the second-highest legal sports betting state in the United States for the month, and 97% of those bets came from betting on line.

Illinois and the Northwest both participated in the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament for a state that brought in $97.1 million in March.

According to the Illinois Gaming Board, college sports brought in more than $1 billion from wagers in 2022.

New attempt to change the law

Despite how easily the amendment to continue banning online stocks passed the Illinois legislature, there is another attempt to make these betting options available.

Representative Jonathan Carroll filed HB 4041 in April to remove language that an approved provider cannot accept a bet on an Illinois sports team over the Internet. This would allow online sportsbooks “to accept a bet for a sporting event involving an Illinois varsity team if the bet is a Level 1 bet and the bet is not related to an athlete’s performance individual”.

The bill received a first reading by the Rules Committee on April 25, but there has been no movement since then.

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