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Sports Betting in Midwest: Illinois, Indiana and IowaThe Midwest has proven a contentious point for sports betting. With states doing their best to be the first to launch sportsbooks and skim players off the top, one place seems to still be far of the end-goal. Illinois bettors may not be able to place a wager – digitally or otherwise – in their home state on time for the football and basketball seasons, which are just around the corner.
As a result, Indiana and Iowa, which are both poised to launch their activities in the foreseeable future, now stand out all too invitingly to Illinois residents.
Why Isn’t Illinois Getting Sports Betting? Illinois lawmakers have tried their best to be ready on time. A draft bill was passed and then signed into law in June by Gov. J.B. Pritzker, but that hasn’t helped the Illinois Gaming Board expedite the process in the slightest. With hundreds of tenets yet to be committed to ink, the Midwest is as lawless about sports betting as it has ever been.
This has caught lawmakers by surprise as well, who were hoping that residents would be able to start placing wagers as early as September, when the NFL season kicks off. Yet, the roll-out might be delayed and Illinois could even miss on The Super Bowl in February, 2020.
Illinois Gaming Board Head Marcus Fruchter has been the man to shoulder the burden. With so much happening, Mr. Fruchter has to navigate a complicated landscape:
“We’re creating an entire industry from scratch. You’ve got to take time to do that deliberately and not rush into something that either doesn’t work or has problems or any number of other concerns.”
While there are no deadlines to enact the signed law, the board has reams of issues to go through. For example, Illinois needs to familiarize itself with the Sports Wagering Act online betting restrictions as well as seek to include minorities, women and people with disabilities into the industry, as per active statures.
Mr.Fruchter’s assessment of the situation puts customer safety first. Inhis public appearances, the Gaming Board boss kept stressing theintroduction of “adequate safeguards” and integrity. Another keyarea of interest is how licenses are allocated and taxes arecollected. Here, Mr. Fruchter explained, transparency was of theutmost importance.
The Gaming Board’s Regular Duties Pile OnIllinois’gaming watchdog is squeezed for resources. With not enough man powerto process all casino license requests, let alone come up with aniron-clad binding regulatory draft, the state will need to re-thinkits deadlines.