By bparlay | Published On: Sep 8 2021

Illinois Approves In-State College Sports Betting

illinois approves in-state college sports betting

Illinois passed sports betting in June of 2019. The first bet was accepted nearly one year later, on March 9, 2020. However, when sports betting launched, there was one significant restriction in place, which is still in effect today.

People in the state cannot bet on-state college sports programs. This includes powerhouse athletic programs like Illinois, Loyola-Chicago, and DePaul. This ban has cost the state a lot of money, despite a surging sports betting market.

However, on Tuesday morning, the Illinois House of Representatives took the first step towards allowing in-state college wagering.

House of Representatives Passes In-State College Betting

Early Tuesday morning, the IL House passed an amendment to Senate Bill 521 to legalize in-state college betting. SB 521 was the state’s sports betting bill that passed back in 2019.

The amendment was introduced hours before it was passed. Representatives agreed to it by a 96-11 margin. This does not mean that sports betting now include wagers on in-state college teams, but it is the first step in the process.

The Senate will have to approve the amendment before it heads to the desk of Governor Pritzker for final approval. The Senate adjourned on Tuesday without voting on the legislation. Therefore, they will have to decide on the amendment’s legality when they return in 2022.

Details of the Bill

The sports betting amendment allows for in-state wagering on all college sports teams in the state. It’s not just limited to Division I athletic programs. Although, there are still some restrictions that will be intact if this bill passes.

Illinois has mobile wagering, but in-state college wagers will only be allowed at retail betting locations. This will deter people who like to bet on mobile from wagering teams like the Illini.

Additionally, the in-state college bets will be limited to the tier 1 category. A tier 1 bet is any wager that is determined by the final score. This is a complex way of saying that the three bets allowed will be the moneyline, spread, and over/under. Learn more about how to use a moneyline calculator with our free tools.

All player props will be prohibited for in-state college teams, and wagers must be locked in before games begin. The lack of live and mobile betting has received some pushback, but the House’s reasoning is simple.

The college athletic directors in the state do not want people betting on their athletes. The limiting aspects of sports betting are a compromise with the state’s universities.

Even though the legislature has the university’s interests in mind, legislators want sports betting for in-state programs. In the NCAA Tournament, Illinois faced Loyola-Chicago. Bettors could wager every tournament game except for the one that had the most attention in the state.

This matchup was a significant reason why this amendment has been pushed so heavily by Rep. Bob Rita and other legislators. Despite not letting bettors wager on the Illinois vs. Loyola matchup, the state still generated a record handle in March.

The March handle was $633.6 million, which blew out the previous record of $581.5 million in January.

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